Updates & Resources

COVID-19

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We are committed to your health and safety.

At West Michigan Cancer Center, we are committed to serving our patients safely through the current COVID-19 healthcare crisis. WMCC continues to follow the highest level of precautionary care while monitoring the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and state and local guidelines for the most up to date information. Our goal is to help you and your family stay healthy and safe while providing you the care you need. You mustn’t postpone the treatment you need to get healthy and stay well during this time.

Preparing For Your Visit

We continue to work diligently to reduce the spread of COVID-19 and protect our patients, caregivers, and staff. We are asking visitors to please stay home unless absolutely medically necessary for patient care. In cases where patients require assistance or have an important appointment, they may bring one visitor with them who is at least 16 years of age and medically necessary to the following:

  • Consultation
  • Office Visit

A visitor must be the same person throughout the appointment or treatment. All visitors and patients are screened and required to wear a non-vented mask before entering the building. Visitors who have any signs or symptoms of COVID-19 are directed to return to their vehicle and contact their primary care provider for follow up.

Children are not allowed to accompany patients to appointments and cannot be left in vehicles to wait. Please make care arrangements in advance for your children under the age of 16.

Safety Precautions for WMCC Patients & Caregivers

To prevent the spread of COVID-19, we have implemented the following steps per CDC guidelines and state of Michigan directives:

  • Patients and staff must wear a cloth face covering or non-vented mask upon arrival. If you do not have one, a mask will be provided to you.
  • Patients and staff must undergo COVID-19 screening upon arrival. This includes answering a series of questions about coronavirus symptoms unrelated to your illness, possible exposure to others who may be infected and having a forehead (temporal artery) temperature taken.

CDC list of updated symptoms includes:

*Symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure to the virus.

Patients who are not cleared for their appointment due to potential coronavirus concerns should follow up with their provider by phone to discuss the next steps. The same is true for patients who do not have a scheduled appointment and are having any coronavirus symptoms or exposure.

Additional Prevention Measures

Along with regular cleaning and disinfection measures, additional steps have been taken to protect patients in treatment and our medical staff who work diligently to help patients. We have removed magazines, puzzles and hats from our waiting areas and exam rooms to prevent the spread of infectious disease. We have decided to keep our resource libraries stocked with informational brochures. However, we just ask that if you pick up a brochure, please go ahead and keep it. Do not return it to the resource library.

We have also made the difficult decision to suspend our volunteer activities until we feel that it is safe to resume them. 

Our volunteers are a beloved part of the WMCC family and asking them to stay home during the height of the coronavirus outbreak is an unfortunate but necessary step to protect them and you.

WMCC strives to ensure patient and staff safety as a top priority throughout the year. Please review the following information regarding general COVID-19 prevention and symptoms. WMCC will continue to monitor the ongoing situation and guidance from the CDC. We will also coordinate with local health department officials and both Bronson Healthcare and Ascension Borgess to provide the best care possible for those who may become affected.

  • Basics and Symptoms
  • Prevention
  • COVID-19 Vaccine Recommendations – Cancer Patients
COVID-19 is a novel strain of coronavirus that seems to spread easily from person to person through respiratory droplets or by contact with an infected surface or object. Symptoms may appear in as few as two days or as long as 14 days following exposure to the virus. The symptoms that are consistent with COVID-19 include fever, cough and shortness of breath (lower respiratory disease).

The CDC recommends prevention measures that are very similar to prevention measures for the flu.

  • Hand washing: Wash your hands using soap and water for at least 20-30 seconds; especially after going to the bathroom, before eating, after blowing your nose, coughing or sneezing or providing care for someone with symptoms. If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol. Always wash hands with soap and water if hands are visibly dirty.
  • Avoid touching your face: It is very common for an individual to touch their face on a regular basis. It is important to avoid touching your face as this is a common way that viruses enter and leave your body. It is additionally important to avoid the T-zone – eyes, nose and mouth.
  • Social distancing: If you are sick, it is important that you stay home, unless seeking medical attention, and follow good prevention etiquette. If you must be out in public, wear a cloth face covering and stay at least 6 feet away from other individuals.
  • Cloth Face Coverings/Masks: Cloth face coverings or non-vented masks are recommended for everyone in public settings.
  • Travel guidelines and restrictions: It is important to avoid travel to areas where an outbreak is widespread. Please check the CDC for travel guidelines.
  • Cleaning: It is important to clean commonly touched surfaces. Standard disinfecting wipes appear to be sufficient (i.e., Lysol wipes). WMCC is committed to this practice throughout out normal daily cleaning protocol.

WMCC is following the National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN) guidelines for COVID-19 vaccination in patients with cancer.

NCCN Guidelines as of 1/22/21:

  • Patients with cancer should be a priority to receive a COVID-19 vaccine. They should be immunized when a vaccine becomes available to them. This includes patients undergoing chemotherapy and radiation therapy. It also includes those who have undergone surgery or will in the future.
  • For cancer surgery patients, there should be at least three days of separation, either before or after, between surgery and vaccination.
  • For patients receiving chemotherapy AND radiation therapy at the same time, the most ideal time to give the vaccine is unknown. With chemotherapy regimens different for every patient, we recommend that you talk to your medical oncologist. Your doctor can discuss your unique care plan. In the absence of data, the NCCN recommends vaccination when available.
  • Immunization is recommended for all patients receiving chemotherapy, immunotherapy, and radiation therapy. This is our recommendation with the understanding that there are limited data on safety and value in these patients.
  • Reasons to delay giving cancer patients a vaccine are similar to the public (for example, recent exposure to COVID-19) and cancer-specific factors.
  • Cancer patients participating in clinical research trials should follow up with their research protocol nurse before scheduling vaccination.
  • Cancer patients who have additional underlying health conditions should discuss vaccination with their primary care provider.
  • Caregivers and household/close contacts should be immunized when possible.
  • Basics and Symptoms
  • Prevention
  • Vaccine & Cancer Patients
COVID-19 is a novel strain of coronavirus that seems to spread easily from person to person through respiratory droplets or by contact with an infected surface or object. Symptoms may appear in as few as two days or as long as 14 days following exposure to the virus. The symptoms that are consistent with COVID-19 include fever, cough and shortness of breath (lower respiratory disease).

The CDC recommends prevention measures that are very similar to prevention measures for the flu.

  • Hand washing: Wash your hands using soap and water for at least 20-30 seconds; especially after going to the bathroom, before eating, after blowing your nose, coughing or sneezing or providing care for someone with symptoms. If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol. Always wash hands with soap and water if hands are visibly dirty.
  • Avoid touching your face: It is very common for an individual to touch their face on a regular basis. It is important to avoid touching your face as this is a common way that viruses enter and leave your body. It is additionally important to avoid the T-zone – eyes, nose and mouth.
  • Social distancing: If you are sick, it is important that you stay home, unless seeking medical attention, and follow good prevention etiquette. If you must be out in public, wear a cloth face covering and stay at least 6 feet away from other individuals.
  • Cloth Face Coverings/Masks: Cloth face coverings or non-vented masks are recommended for everyone in public settings.
  • Travel guidelines and restrictions: It is important to avoid travel to areas where an outbreak is widespread. Please check the CDC for travel guidelines.
  • Cleaning: It is important to clean commonly touched surfaces. Standard disinfecting wipes appear to be sufficient (i.e., Lysol wipes). WMCC is committed to this practice throughout out normal daily cleaning protocol.

COVID-19 Vaccine Recommendations – Cancer Patients

WMCC is following the National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN) guidelines for COVID-19 vaccination in patients with cancer.

NCCN Guidelines as of 1/22/21:

  • Patients with cancer should be a priority to receive a COVID-19 vaccine. They should be immunized when a vaccine becomes available to them. This includes patients undergoing chemotherapy and radiation therapy. It also includes those who have undergone surgery or will in the future.
  • For cancer surgery patients, there should be at least three days of separation, either before or after, between surgery and vaccination.
  • For patients receiving chemotherapy AND radiation therapy at the same time, the most ideal time to give the vaccine is unknown. With chemotherapy regimens different for every patient, we recommend that you talk to your medical oncologist. Your doctor can discuss your unique care plan. In the absence of data, the NCCN recommends vaccination when available.
  • Immunization is recommended for all patients receiving chemotherapy, immunotherapy, and radiation therapy. This is our recommendation with the understanding that there are limited data on safety and value in these patients.
  • Reasons to delay giving cancer patients a vaccine are similar to the public (for example, recent exposure to COVID-19) and cancer-specific factors.
  • Cancer patients participating in clinical research trials should follow up with their research protocol nurse before scheduling vaccination.
  • Cancer patients who have additional underlying health conditions should discuss vaccination with their primary care provider.
  • Caregivers and household/close contacts should be immunized when possible.

Donations

Community Donations – WMCC welcomes donations from the community to help protect our front line healthcare workers during the COVID-19 health crisis. New and unused items that WMCC will accept include:

  • Disposable face masks
  • New hand sewn masks for our patients and employees
  • Crocheted ear savers/mask adapters
  • N95 masks, sometimes called respirators
  • Eye protection
  • Face shields
  • Safety goggles
  • Disposable gowns
  • Disposable gloves (non-latex only)
  • Wipes: bleach or antimicrobial (example, Lysol)
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Tyvek suits 
Donated items can be dropped off at the front door of our center in Kalamazoo.

COVID Resources

The COVID-19 pandemic presents unique challenges for people with cancer. Below are some resources to help you stay safe and healthy during this crisis.

Centers for Disease Control

For the most up to date information on COVID-19, you can visit the CDC’s COVID-19 resource center.

Health Resources for Kalamazoo

A health and wellness community Directory - Helpful information all in one place, for the Kalamazoo region.

Help with Basic Needs

Social-Emotional Guide for Families

Guidance for Patients

COVID and Cancer Questions