Roswell Park’s response to coronavirus (COVID-19)
An updated Covid vaccine is expected to become available this fall. The updated vaccine will be targeted to the variant that is now the most prevalent in the United States.
Roswell Park recommends that patients get vaccinated against the influenza virus (the flu shot) and plan to get one of the new Covid vaccines when they become available. As always, we encourage you to speak with your provider about any questions.
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.
- Due to increasing COVID-19 infection rates and in anticipation of cold and flu season, Roswell Park is taking the proactive step of reinstating masking in our hospital and outpatient clinical areas, including the hospital, Clinical Sciences Center, Scott Bieler Amherst Center and Niagara Falls Center. Masks will be provided.
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.