An important message to our patients about COVID-19 Coronavirus
Dear Patients & Families,
University Cancer & Blood Center is committed to the health and safety of our patients, staff, and community. As we continue to closely monitor the coronavirus (COVID-19) situation, we want to assure you that we are taking necessary precautions to ensure your safety as recommended by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and local authorities. For the health and safety of all UCBC patients, their family members, and our staff, we are encouraging our patients to utilize our optional Telehealth services if/when possible, in lieu of on-site appointments during the COVID-19 (Coronavirus) pandemic. You can contact us at (706) 353-2990 or through our patient portal, with any questions or to inquire about changing your currently scheduled in-office appointment to a Telehealth visit. UCBC will send an appointment link via text or email before a patient’s scheduled appointment. This link will include step by step instructions on how to use this service. This service will be utilized through doxy.me. This service is CMS-approved and HIPAA compliant. As an added precaution, we ask that you please assist us by doing the following during your visit to our locations:
- ALL PATIENTS and STAFF will go through a verbal screening process upon entering our buildings, before entering the waiting rooms. Screening questions will relate to: If you have traveled outside the U.S. or any area with active coronavirus cases; If you are currently experiencing any flu-like symptoms such as fever, body aches or cough; or if you have been in contact with anyone who has been diagnosed with the coronavirus
- NO companions/caregivers will be allowed inside with patients or inside any UCBC buildings. We understand this is extremely difficult for those seeking support during cancer treatment. This policy has been put into place in the best interest of protecting all patients and staff. We deeply appreciate your understanding.
- ALL patients will be given a mask to wear upon entering a UCBC facility if they are not already wearing one.
- ANY PATIENT experiencing any of the above symptoms or who has been in contact with anyone with the above symptoms will not be permitted to enter our building and we will gladly reschedule his/her appointment to a later date.
- ALL PATIENTS and STAFF will be screened for a fever using our quick and easy forehead scan thermometer.
- ALL PATIENTS and STAFF will be required to sanitize their hands with disinfectant supplies provided at the point of entry into our buildings.
- Please click here to learn more about our optional virtual Telehealth appointments.
- If you have an in-person appointment, please arrive on time rather than too early in an effort to minimize the amount of time you will spend in our waiting room. In addition, if you are limiting your exposure to the public or would like to reschedule your appointment for any other reason, we will be happy to do that and, if necessary, provide refills by request. If you are a patient who is experiencing symptoms of COVID-19, please call our office (706) 353-2990 to speak with our Triage Nurse. They will provide guidance about whether you should come to the clinic or wait until symptoms are gone. If you have a scheduled, essential appointment at UCBC, please plan to keep this appointment unless you are experiencing symptoms like fever, cough, congestion, sore throat, runny nose or shortness of breath. We will continue to diligently monitor developments and update our patients and staff accordingly. you have any other questions about your visit or scheduling a visit, contact our office directly.
In addition to the regulations, the following measures have been put in place at all of our facilities:
- Our medical office spaces are continuously cleaned as part of our normal course of business, and we will maintain rigorous standards including cleaning and disinfecting high-touch, high-traffic areas.
- Our offices are stocked with quality hand soap and disinfectant supplies.
- We are ensuring that our employees have the information they need to stay healthy. Employees not feeling well in any regard will not be allowed in the workplace.
- Limiting the amount of contact that our patients have with shared objects can help reduce the spread of certain infections, including COVID-19. Therefore, we have removed all magazines, books and other reading material from our waiting areas and exam rooms
Again, only patients are allowed inside the UCBC facilities. Companions will not be allowed inside the facilities. We will be screening each patient at all locations, at the entrance doors. UCBC prides itself in the commitment to maintain a safe environment for both our employees and patients while continuing to deliver the best medical care possible. We want to thank you for the trust you have placed in our providers and staff and appreciate your help and support in helping us with the safety measures we have put into place. If you think you may have been exposed to coronavirus or are experiencing symptoms, please call 866-460-1119.
The Providers and Staff at University Cancer & Blood Center
Things you should know about COVID-19:
- According to the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention: “Everyone is at risk for getting COVID-19 if they are exposed to the virus. Some people are more likely than others to become severely ill, which means that they may require hospitalization, intensive care, or a ventilator to help them breathe, or they may even die.”
- Look for emergency warning signs* for COVID-19. If someone is showing any of these signs, seek emergency medical care immediately
Persistent pain or pressure in the chest
Inability to wake or stay awake
Bluish lips or face
* This list is not all possible symptoms. Please call your medical provider for any other symptoms that are severe or concerning to you.
- People with COVID-19 have had a wide range of symptoms reported – ranging from mild symptoms to severe illness. Symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure to the virus. People with these symptoms may have COVID-19
- Learn how to protect yourself and others here.
- The interim guidance in the following link is for staff at local and state health departments, infection prevention and control professionals, and healthcare personnel who are coordinating the home care and isolation of people with confirmed or suspected COVID-19 infection, including persons under investigation |Interim Guidance for Implementing Home Care of People Not Requiring Hospitalization for Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)
UCBC patients and visitors: FAQ
Family members and caregivers:
Family and caregivers (and patients who have symptoms of COVID-19) will not be permitted inside the clinic. Out of precaution, all companions should remain in the car and outside of any UCBC facilities. The CDC outlines recommendations for how to prevent the spread of the Coronavirus in homes and residential communities here.
Are patients screened for respiratory symptoms?
Yes, all patients will be screened for symptoms of respiratory illness at the entrance of the clinic.
Should I wear a mask in the clinic?
Yes. If you do not have a mask, UCBC will provide you with one prior to entering the clinic.
UCBC has extensive and thorough infection control procedures, and we will do everything we can to ensure the health and safety of our community. We have protocols and systems in place to keep all patients, visitors and healthcare workers safe.
UCBC offers the COVID19 IgG and IGM antibodies tests to UCBC patients with an order from a UCBC provider.
The self-pay fee for the testing is $46.00. Please note that some insurances are covering 100% of the cost.
How can I prevent the spread of COVID-19?
The Centers for Disease Control & Prevention recommends everyday preventive actions to help prevent exposure:
- 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.
- ALWAYS wear a protective mask when in public. The cloth face cover is meant to protect other people in case you are infected.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick (maintain at least 6 feet of distance apart)
- Put distance between yourself and other people if COVID-19 is spreading in your community. This is especially important for people who are at higher risk of getting very sick.
- Stay home if you are sick, except to get medical care. Learn what to do if you are sick.
- Clean AND disinfect frequently touched surfaces daily. This includes tables, doorknobs, light switches, countertops, handles, desks, phones, keyboards, toilets, faucets, and sinks.
UCBC & COVID-19 Clinical Trials
University Cancer & Blood Center is conducting a COVID-19 Clinical Trial to study the prevalence of this disease in our patients. Please read the information here carefully and follow instructions for questions and participation.
UCBC & the COVID-19 vaccine distribution
IMPORTANT NOTE: All vaccine distribution appointment slots are FULL as of January 12, 2021. As clinic days open up, we will open the appointment portal for online registration. Please continue to monitor our website for more updates. If you qualify for Phase 1A and would like to be placed on the waiting list for the COVID vaccine, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Please include your NAME, DATE OF BIRTH, and PHONE NUMBER. We look at all emails oldest to newest and will contact you as soon as a vaccine appointment becomes available. Please do not call the clinic to check your status. Thank you.
UCBC, like all health care providers, must follow the DPH vaccine rollout plan. There are currently three phases in the plan, and each may have subphases. We are now in Phase 1a, which allows the vaccination of health care workers and long-term care residents.
On December 30, 2020, the Governor of Georgia, Brian Kemp and the Department of Public Health, announced a planned expansion of the Phase 1a vaccine rollout. The DPH has expanded the first phase of vaccine administration to ensure that all vaccines received by providers are being used. Effective Jan. 11, 2021, the expanded list of individuals eligible for vaccination in Phase 1a will include:
• Healthcare workers in clinical settings (e.g., nurses, physicians, EMS, laboratory technicians, environmental services)
• Staff and residents of long-term care facilities
• All law enforcement and fire personnel (including volunteer departments)
• Adults aged 65 and older (and their caregivers as applicable)
While this is exciting news, it is important to remember that vaccine availability is dependent on supply and distribution, which UCBC does not control. We will continue to monitor developments, work closely with the DPH and inform you of the latest progress.