What Our Patients Should Know About COVID-19
Texas Center for Proton Therapy is open and treating patients. Screening and extra precautions are in place to protect patients and staff. Caring for cancer patients who need care is our priority.
IMPORTANT: If you have fever, cough, shortness of breath, or any other symptoms, you should contact Texas Center for Proton Therapy before visiting our clinics for scheduled appointments.
Patients are required to wear a face mask to their clinic appointment, face masks with a valve are not allowed. We are allowing only patients and essential vendors into our facilities. We need to limit the number of people in waiting rooms and clinical areas. For minors, one visitor, 18 years or older, may accompany the patient. Read the full visitor policy.
At Texas Center for Proton Therapy the safety of our patients, their caregivers, and our staff is our highest priority. We are following CDC guidelines in our response to COVID-19.
Patients with compromised immune systems, including many cancer patients, are more susceptible to viruses, including COVID-19. Some cancer types can result in a weakened immune system.
COVID-19 and Our Promise to Patients
Your Treatment at Texas Center for Proton Therapy
To reduce risk of exposure, we have implemented new protocols and changes to how we operate, including:
- Urging patients with fever, cough, or shortness of breath to call before coming to scheduled appointments
- Screening patients for symptoms at the entrance
- Postponing non-urgent appointments, or implementing the use of telemedicine when appropriate
- Providing information for patients who may need COVID-19 testing
- Reinforcing guidelines for use of personal protective equipment, e.g., facemasks, gowns, gloves
- Isolating patients who come into our location exhibiting symptoms such as fever, cough, or shortness of breath
Andrew Lee, M.D., MPH, medical director of Texas Center for Proton Therapy, discusses the steps he and his staff are taking to protect cancer patients during the COVID-19 pandemic. According to Dr. Lee, telemedicine has allowed vulnerable cancer patients to receive routine care without having to come into the clinic.
To protect the safety of our patients and staff, all patients and visitors are screened as they enter our building.
- A series of screening questions are asked, including:
- Have you recently had a fever, cough, or shortness of breath?
- Have you traveled outside the state of Texas in the last 21 days?
- Have you recently been in contact with a person who may be sick with COVID-19?
- Upon completing the screening questions, patients and caregivers will be asked to wear an adhesive label to indicate that screening has occurred
- Hand sanitizer is distributed.
If a patient or visitor presents as high-risk in the screening process, a healthcare provider will talk with them about next steps.
Protect Yourself and Others
You, your caregivers, and other close contacts can take proactive measures to protect yourselves and those around you from COVID-19, including these common-sense prevention steps:
- Wash your hands thoroughly for at least 20 seconds and frequently. If soap and water are unavailable, use alcohol-based hand rub.
- Cover coughs and sneezes with a tissue. Throw tissues in the trash.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
- Avoid close contact with sick people.
- Stay home if you are not well.
- Avoid large crowds while receiving therapy.
- Disinfect frequently touched surfaces with household cleaning spray or wipe.
- Call Texas Center for Proton Therapy first if you have questions or concerns.
You should avoid contact with anyone, including a caregiver, who has traveled to locations where the COVID-19 outbreak is severe for at least 14 days upon their return. If you or anyone you have already been in contact with have traveled to these locations, please contact Texas Center for Proton Therapy before visiting our location. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) regularly updates travel advisories and information related to travel and COVID-19.
If your caregiver or any close contacts are sick, encourage them to seek medical attention, and avoid contact with them until they are well, e.g., free from fever for at least 24 to 48 hours.
As the COVID-19 situation changes, we will keep our patients and staff updated. For more information on COVID-19, Texas Center for Proton Therapy recommends the following resources:
Sources: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Cure Media Group