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Coronavirus update for Cancer Centre for Children

Monday 1 June 2020 in News from the Cancer Centre

These are our current recommendations regarding precautions for preventing Coronavirus exposure. This page will be updated daily (Monday to Friday).

Dear Families,

The situation continues to change rapidly and consequently so will our recommendations.

When you now come to clinic, there will be new screening procedures (to check if your child has a fever or is unwell).

Advice and recommendations for patients undergoing therapy or having scans and reviews are as follows:

  1. Patients who are scheduled to receive therapy will continue to do so as per their treatment plan.
  2. Patients who are scheduled to have scans will continue to have the scans performed. Results of the scans and subsequent appointments will be communicated by the Cancer Centre staff by phone or teleconference.
  3. Patients receiving only oral chemotherapy (for the most part this involves patients with acute lymphoblastic leukemia) will continue to be monitored closely.

If the blood test is done in OTC (and if your child is well) you can go home without waiting for review. The Cancer Centre staff will contact each family later in the day by phone or teleconference or via the My Health Memory Application to advise on any changes to doses and to provide any required prescriptions and organize next appointment.

  1. Patients who are scheduled for review and who are well will have the review postponed or conducted via teleconference/telephone.
  2. If you require prescriptions please let us know in advance so we can minimize waiting times

Any patient who is unwell, please call first (Camperdown or Clinic) – You will be seen and assessed as per normal practice either in the Oncology Clinic or the Emergency department.

COVID-19: Keeping you Safe letter for families and patients

To ensure families and patients are aware of changes in place at the hospital, this communication was made available from Monday 27 April, 2020. You can read it here.

School recommendations

Returning to school within the community:

  • Patients receiving therapy, and those who have completed treatment, as well as their siblings, can resume normal attendance at school and child care. Coronavirus measures in place at school and child care should be observed.
  • Only a few patients will be required to continue isolation and these patients will be individually identified and notified by their treating team at the Cancer Centre for Children.

Hospital school programs for Oncology inpatients and outpatients:

  • School attendance, and participation in school programs, can be resumed with appropriate social isolation, screening and personal hygiene measures implemented.

If your school or child care service has requested a letter from the Hospital, to accompany your child’s return, please phone the Oncology Treatment Centre on (02) 9845 2115, or the Cancer Centre for Children through the Hospital switchboard on (02) 9845 0000, and the Cancer Centre will provide the letter to you.

These recommendations are to take effect from Monday 25 May 2020.

School recommendations will be reviewed regularly as we monitor the effects of the relaxation of restrictions within NSW.

New ANZCHOG COVID-19 advice about school

ANZCHOG have updated their information and guidance for paediatric oncology and BMT patients returning to school. It discusses evidence, risk and advice. Read the update.

ANZCHOG answers parents' frequently asked questions about COVID-19 

Australian & New Zealand Children's Haematology/Oncology Group (ANZCHOG) has released COVID-19 guidance for children and young people undergoing cancer treatment including about school and social distancing. It is updated to reflect changes and you can read it and download the pdf here.

Do you have a question about your child and COVID-19 precautions?

If your question, about your child being treated for cancer and COVID-19 precautions, has not been answered by the information provided on this page you can contact the OTC at the Cancer Centre for Children who will be happy to help you.

OTC Reception Desk: (02) 9845 2115

OTC email:

Ronald McDonald House reopened 25 May 2020

Ronald McDonald House at Westmead reopened to new families on Monday 25 May 2020. Over the next few weeks it will increase its capacity to a maximum of 30 families to allow for physical distancing for all families. New procedures such as daily screening, increased cleaning and kitchen rosters have been introduced to ensure families and staff within the house remain safe. This is wonderful news for families in the Cancer Centre who use their important services.

Visiting The Children's Hospital at Westmead

Please help keep our patients safe. In response to Coronavirus (COVID-19) the following changes have been made at our hospital:

  • We have restricted visiting for families to one visitor per patient.
  • No siblings or other children are permitted.
  • Strict social distancing rules are being followed.
  • Our facilities are not open to the general public, except for patients and one carer.

In accordance with the NSW Health Directive, everyone coming into the hospital will undergo a health screening and be asked these questions:

Everyone coming into the hospital will have their temperature taken and be asked the following questions:

  • Are you a staff member, patient, family member or visitor?
  • Are you experiencing any cold-like symptoms?

We appreciate your patience and understanding.

Variety Ward moves to Exley Ward

On 20 March 2020 Oncology patients in Variety Ward moved to Exley Ward. Find out more about this move here.

SCHN information for families and patients about COVID-19

This COVID-19 information page by The Sydney Children's Hospital Network is continually updated and contains information on a range of topics useful for families and patients.

Tips for coping with Coronavirus anxiety 

This information outlines some useful strategies which can help adults and children cope with the stress or anxiety experienced as a result of the coronavirus outbreak. 

Trusted sources of information about Coronavirus (COVID-19)

For the most up-to-date information visit the dedicated NSW Health information page. Press conferences can be viewed on the NSW Health Facebook page.

As the Coronavirus situation is continually evolving, please refer to this article on the Sydney Children's Hospitals Network website. It provides more information and a list of FAQs about COVID-19. 

Revision log for this information
  • Content modified 2 June 2020
  • Content modified 21 May 2020
  • Content modified 6 May 2020
  • Content modified 30 April 2020
  • Content modified 23 April 2020
  • Content modified 4 April 2020
  • Content modified 28 March 2020
  • Content modified 25 March 2020
  • Content modified 20 March 2020
  • Content modified 18 March 2020
  • Content modified 17 March 2020 

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