As you and your family watch the rapidly evolving public health concern surrounding coronavirus (COVID-19), we want to assure you that Southern Cancer Center is closely monitoring these developments, as the health and safety of our patients remain our top priority. We strongly encourage all patients not experiencing flu-like symptoms to continue with their prescribed treatment plans and attend all previously scheduled appointments. Your care needs currently outweigh the low-level risk posed at this time.
SCC patients should immediately notify our office if they are experiencing symptoms of a cough, fever, or difficulty breathing or if they may have been exposed to the coronavirus. Due to the nature of our patient population, it is IMPERATIVE that patients call our office for further direction prior to coming into the office for medical care if they are experiencing symptoms or believe they may have been exposed.
To minimize exposure to our patients and staff, we are also requesting that patients limit the number of caregivers accompanying them to one per visit. Additionally, no person(s) under the age of 15 will be allowed to accompany you to your visit.
As a reminder, we have physicians available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. If our patients or their families require assistance outside of normal business hours, please call our office at 251.625.6896 and our on-call staff will assist you further.
Cancer patients often have compromised immune systems and therefore can be at additional risk for catching COVID-19.
- Patients with compromised immune systems, including many cancer patients, are more susceptible to viruses, including COVID-19.
- Some cancer therapies, such as targeted drugs, steroids, and immunosuppressive therapies, as well as some cancer types, like blood cancers, can result in a weakened immune system.
Cancer patients and their caregivers can protect themselves from illnesses like COVID-19 and flu by taking common-sense prevention steps:
- Wash your hands thoroughly, frequently.
- Cover your cough and sneezes.
- Stay home if you are not well.
- Avoid being around sick people.
- Avoid large crowds while receiving active therapy.
- Call SCC first if you have concerns about your health.
It is not necessary to wear a face mask.
- The CDC does not recommend that the general public wear face masks. Most commonly available masks do not provide meaningful protection if you are well.
- However, masks are recommended for patients who have flu or other infectious illnesses, including COVID-19, and for medical teams.
- Patients with flu-like symptoms should contact SCC before visiting our clinics for scheduled appointments.
Steps Southern Cancer Center is taking due to COVID-19:
- The CDC-recommended protocols for healthcare providers regarding COVID-19 are aligned with existing protocols for flu season, which already are in place at Southern Cancer Center.
- During flu season we emphasize an array of preventative measures that protect our staff and our patients from exposure to illness. These include hand hygiene (washing hand with soap and/or alcohol-based sanitizers) and proper use of personal protective equipment like gloves, face masks, and gowns.
- In addition, our teams are aware of our established protocol for isolating patients who come into our locations exhibiting concerning symptoms. As the COVID-19 situation changes, we will keep our staff and our patients updated.
- We have implemented travel restrictions for our employees and have mandated that any employee(s) with fever and respiratory symptoms stay home.
Avoid contact with anyone who has traveled to China, South Korea, Japan, Italy, and Iran, or any other locations where the COVID-19 outbreak is severe.
- You should avoid contact with anyone, including a caregiver, who has traveled to these locations for at least 14 days upon their return.
- If your caregiver or close contact is sick, encourage them to seek medical help and avoid contact with them until they are well, e.g., free from fever for at least 24-48 hours.
We urge you to turn to trusted, reliable sources for information about COVID-19, to help you avoid misinformation. It is important to understand the facts to avoid unnecessary or misplaced fear. We recommend these websites:
- CDC: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html
- World Health Organization: https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019
- Alabama Department of Health: https://www.alabamapublichealth.gov/infectiousdiseases/2019-coronavirus.html