COVID-19 Update: What Hospitals are Doing

Childhood cancer centres and POGO Satellite Clinics across Ontario are working diligently to ensure the safety and best outcomes for children with cancer during the COVID-19 pandemic.

For children with cancer, survivors and their families, the best way to reduce the risk of COVID-19 infection is to follow the recommendations outlined by the Ontario Ministry of Health, which can be found here. If you have questions about any specific precautions for your child or yourself, contact your oncologist or nurse.

Throughout Ontario, children with a new cancer diagnosis continue to be evaluated, undergo tests and start treatment with high priority and minimal disruption. POGO Satellite Clinics remain open and are an important component of keeping patients safe and the pediatric cancer system running. The childhood cancer treating centres are taking strong action to reduce the risk for cancer patients by limiting the requirement for well patients to attend the hospital by:

  • Connecting through telephone or videoconferencing and rescheduling hospital appointments
  • Deferring imaging and blood tests when possible
  • Utilizing community-based laboratories for blood tests when possible

This is particularly true for childhood cancer survivors who have been off treatment for several months or more.

If you attend a childhood cancer clinic, extra precautions may cause some inconvenience, for example:

  • Symptom screening is occurring at the hospital and clinic entrances
  • There may be limitations on the number of adults/family members allowed to accompany a child in the hospital
  • Playrooms may be closed

It is important to recognize that these measures are taken to protect survivors, your child and other children, family members, and staff in the hospital.

Your medical team understands that this a very stressful time for children, survivors, parents and families. Please talk to your team about your questions and concerns during this time.

David Hodgson, MD, FRCPC – POGO Medical Director

Paul Gibson, MD, FRCPC – POGO Associate Medical Director

Denise Mills, MN, RN(EC), NP Pediatrics – POGO Clinical Lead, Pediatric Oncology Nursing

Date of last update: January 2021

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