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Guidelines for COVID-19 for oncology patients during current NSW outbreak

Thursday 15 July 2021 in News from the Cancer Centre

These recommendations are for our patients attending the Oncology Treatment Centre (Oncology Clinic) or the Emergency Department (ED) at The Children’s Hospital (Westmead) during the current COVID-19 outbreak.

When you come to the clinic or ED, there will be simple screening procedures to check if you or your child has a fever or is unwell and whether we need to perform a COVID test (swab).

COVID testing guidelines

These guidelines apply for oncology patients attending the Emergency Department (ED) or the Oncology Treatment Centre (OTC)who are currently on therapy:

1: Patients presenting with fever do NOT require COVID 19 testing unless they meet one or more of the following COVID  criteria:

  • Have visited any NSW Health COVID-19 venues of concern within the identified risk period  in the past 14 days
  • Have had a  possible close or casual  contact with a COVID-19 positive person in the past 14 days
  • Have travelled overseas in the past 14 days
  • Reside in high risk geographical area (as defined by NSW public health)

2: Patients with lingering respiratory symptoms from a previous/earlier episode which was shown to be COVID negative in the last 14 days,  do NOT require COVID testing unless they meet one or more of the above COVID testing criteria.

3: Oncology patients with NEW respiratory symptoms presenting (with or without a fever) require COVID testing.

Advice and recommendations for patients

If your child is undergoing therapy, clinic reviews or having scans and reviews are as follows:

  • Patients who are scheduled to receive therapy will continue to do so as per their treatment plan.
  • Patients who are scheduled to have scans will continue to have the scans performed.
  • Telehealth will be used more widely for patients who are scheduled for review only (no therapy) rather than clinic attendance whenever possible.
  • If your child 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. 

Visitor guidelines

See the Network COVID-19 Information page for parent, carer and sibling visitor guidelines and for more information about procedures, appointments and COVID-19.

This page is updated as changes occur.

School recommendations

Under the current NSW Health guidelines, attendance at school is available for children of essential workers, with homeschooling provisions in place for all others.

For more information please access the following links:

Additional information will be provided once NSW lockdown restrictions have been eased.

If your school or child care service requests 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.

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 Clinic at the Cancer Centre for Children and we will be happy to help you.

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