Roswell Park’s response to coronavirus (COVID-19)

Our staff is taking every precaution during the COVID-19 outbreak

Roswell Park is working proactively to protect the health and safety of everyone at Roswell Park — patients, visitors, employees, volunteers, students and contractors. We are working closely with the CDC, the Erie County Department of Health and the New York State Department of Health to adapt as the situation evolves with best practices for infection control and guidance from public health officials.

Here’s what you need to know about the steps we have taken to keep Roswell Park a safe place to receive or continue your cancer care.

  • We have taken strict measures to reduce the risk of COVID-19 in our hospital and patient areas. These measures include:
    • Offering virtual visits when possible to further reduce the number of people in the Center.
    • Please read the full visitation policy prior to each visit.
    • Per New York State guidelines that no longer require restrictive visitation rules, inpatient visitors are no longer required to be vaccinated against COVID-19. This also waives the COVID-19 testing requirement for non-vaccinated visitors. All visitors must continue to self-screen for COVID-19 symptoms or exposures.
    • Installation of hands-free door openers in most areas.
  • Based on sustained low rates of community spread of COVID-19, masking is optional in all areas of Roswell Park. This applies to all Roswell Park locations. Masks will remain readily available for those who choose to wear them. Staff should continue to respect the wishes of others and wear masks if requested by patients under their care.

Remember that Roswell Park is a dedicated, free-standing cancer hospital. We treat cancer patients only and do not have an emergency room where patients with flu-like symptoms might seek treatment.     

  • Some patients may have the option of virtual visits — if you have an upcoming appointment that your care team feels should be offered as a virtual visit, they will be contacting you directly. To take advantage of seeing your doctor in a virtual visit, we will need your email address. If you are already registered on MyRoswell – Roswell Park’s patient portal, we will use the same email you used to register; you can always change your email by visiting MyRoswell and changing it in your account. If you prefer not to register at this time, your care team will still need your email when scheduling your virtual visit.
  • Missing certain appointments can impact the effectiveness of your treatment. For example, studies show that when cancer patients miss radiation treatments, they face an increased risk that their cancer will return, even if they go on to finish the full course of treatments.

Visit our vaccine page vaccine page for more information and guidelines for cancer patients.

COVID-19 and your children

Roswell Park strongly encourages COVID-19 vaccination for those age 5 and over. The Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna and Johnson & Johnson/Janssen vaccines are all authorized by federal officials for use in people 16 and older, and the Pfizer-BioNTech pediatric COVID-19 vaccine is recommended for children between the ages of 5 and 11. 

We encourage you to consult with a medical provider if you have questions. We additionally recommend that all individuals get a COVID-19 booster once eligible.