‘Cancer doesn’t keep a social distance,’ CEO Dr. Johnson notes in video to patients
- Cancer center adding more touchless doors, ventilation improvements
- Latest online resources include video message, COVID-19 FAQ
- With many infected people showing no symptoms, preventive measures are key
Editor’s note: Because information and policies regarding the COVID-19 health crisis are rapidly changing, the information we are providing may quickly become outdated. Please check back regularly at roswellpark.org/coronavirus for updates and new information.
‘Cancer Doesn’t Keep a Social Distance’
Roswell Park’s physicians and clinical teams continue to work hard to reschedule nonurgent patient appointments or transition them to virtual visits, as appropriate.
All treatment teams at Roswell Park continue to provide services for patients in need of more immediate care. “For many of our patients,” Roswell Park President and CEO Candace S. Johnson, PhD, says in a video to patients, “cancer doesn’t keep a social distance, and we will continue to be there for you and your family. Our staff are committed to your treatment.” Patients with questions about an upcoming appointment should reach out to their clinical team, or may direct questions to 1-800-ROSWELL (1-800-767-9355) or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Roswell Park has also posted answers to frequently asked questions about COVID-19 on its website and for download.
Touchless Doors, Enhanced Air Filtration
As an added precaution to reduce the spread of infection, the Roswell Park Facilities team is installing touchless activation devices on 110 doors in the hospital and Clinical Sciences Center. Over the past month, the team has made improvements to the ventilation systems within the Roswell Park main hospital building, converting the entire system to 100% outside, nonrecirculated air; adding several portable HEPA filtration systems; and expanding the number of negative-pressure rooms to prevent the spread of any pathogens outside of a patient’s room.
COVID-19 Can Go Undercover
New information suggests that up to 60% of people infected with COVID-19 have mild or no symptoms and might be inadvertently passing the virus on to others they interact with — underscoring the importance of preventive measures like hand-washing and social distancing.
Roswell Park’s Infection Control experts add their endorsement for these protective measures recommended by the CDC as our best chance for staying healthy — as individuals and as a community:
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds especially after you have been in a public place, or after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
- If soap and water are not readily available, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol. Cover all surfaces of your hands and rub them together until they feel dry.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
- Put distance between yourself and other people if COVID-19 is spreading in your community.
New Protocols for Protective Equipment
Based on the latest CDC guidance and the prevalence of COVID-19 in our community, Roswell Park has implemented new protocols this week for use of personal protective equipment. As of March 25, all staff working in clinical areas will wear either surgical masks or N95 masks.
We thank our community for wanting to help address the concern about future shortages. Roswell Park continues to seek donations of unused commercial products such as surgical masks, N95 masks and gloves.
Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center is a community united by the drive to eliminate cancer’s grip on humanity by unlocking its secrets through personalized approaches and unleashing the healing power of hope. Founded by Dr. Roswell Park in 1898, it is the only National Cancer Institute-designated comprehensive cancer center in Upstate New York. Learn more at www.roswellpark.org, or contact us at 1-800-ROSWELL (1-800-767-9355) or ASKRoswell@RoswellPark.org.
Annie Deck-Miller, Senior Media Relations Manager