COVID-19 | Illinois CancerCare Update
Our Commitment to Keeping Patients & Employees Safe
We are here for you and we are safe for you.
The Illinois CancerCare team understands that this is a difficult time for our patients. We will continue to make adjustments when we can to bring as much compassion and support to your journey, but our top priority is keeping you safe.
JUNE 2021 UPDATE:
Now that Illinois has entered Phase 5, masks seem to be a ‘thing of the past’ in SOME establishments. We at Illinois CancerCare, however, are a little different because we have immunosuppressed patients to protect! We are different because we care.
Please call our office if you have any questions about your appointment or if any of Illinois CancerCare guidelines cannot be followed. Your treatment team and our scheduling staff will work closely with you and your family.
Thank you for your cooperation in helping us protect you, other patients and our Illinois CancerCare team!
As we seek to limit physical contact and the spread of germs, we have implemented social distancing standards, personal protective equipment, additional cleaning and sanitizing, the option of telemedicine, and video conferencing or phone conferencing.
Based on patient volume, some clinics will have a separate exit for patients leaving after receiving lab work.
While we want to limit contact, we will not be limiting our caring smiles and compassionate care.
In the locations where we have a retail pharmacy, you may pick up your prescriptions as usual after completing a health screening at the clinic entrance. Alternatives to visiting the pharmacy in person include having your prescriptions delivered by an Illinois CancerCare courier or mail service.
Infections from viruses and bacteria are not new to us. Illinois CancerCare already operates at a high level due to the risk of infection in our cancer patients. We have always been very cautious and particular in following strict infection control measures and we were well prepared for this pandemic.
Steps we have taken to protect our patients include the following:
- We follow all guidelines given by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and World Health Organization (WHO).
- We have implemented additional cleaning measures overnight, along with cleaning around the clock, to ensure that all surfaces are wiped down between each patient throughout the day.
- We have spaced out appointments and extended hours to accommodate social distancing and cleaning. We have also moved shorter treatments to the afternoon.
- If available, our employees are using a separate entrance to enter in the morning. This ensures that they are able to enter one at a time, participate in a health screening and receive the Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) they will wear that day.
- All of our employees are wearing masks. Many are also wearing additional Personal Protective Equipment (PPE). Employees receive extra training on how to use these protective measures to their highest potential.
- In order to maintain proper social distancing, we have decals on the floor to indicate how close you should stand to another patient or visitor in our building.
- When using the elevator, we ask each patient take their own turn and use hand sanitizer after exiting the elevator.
- In our treatment rooms, chairs are spaced out to ensure distancing, and are cleaned between patients.
Due to our region moving to Phase 5, Illinois CancerCare will now allow two visitors (age 12+), preferably vaccinated, per patient to join office visits. We will continue to ask that no visitors enter our treatment rooms. Loved ones are also always welcome to participate in provider visits by phone and/or video chat.
It was a difficult decision to not allow visitors in treatment areas – as we have always understood the critical role that family and friends provide during these times. However, it is also important to prevent infection from coming in to our patient care areas.
We recognize the challenges that these safety measures present, but please be assured that our care team is here to support you. As always, our decisions are driven by our single purpose: to provide you with the absolute best and safest care while protecting your health.
We will assist you in connecting with your family and friends when you are here for an appointment through video or phone conferencing. See our recent blog article with ideas on how loved ones can be here for our patients at this difficult time.
We require everyone inside to wear a mask at all times so eating in the waiting rooms and treatment room is discouraged. We will make exceptions for diabetics who need to eat or for patients who are here for long treatments.
Our canine volunteers are not currently present but look forward to coming back as soon as it is safe for them to do so.
All decisions were made by the Illinois CancerCare physicians and our COVID-19 Readiness Committee in compliance with all guidelines given by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and World Health Organization (WHO).
The person will need documentation of two negative COVID-19 test results greater than 24 hours apart before coming back in to the practice.
As a place that takes care of our patients, with the most modern treatments available, Illinois CancerCare has always adapted with the needs of the times. Our mission remains the same. We are focused on making sure that our clinical care sites remain the best places for world class, compassionate care.
Have other questions?
• If you have any additional thoughts or questions, please email us at WeCare@IllinoisCancerCare.com.
To allow us to provide a safe and protected environment, please note:
- Upon arrival, our screeners will ask that anyone entering remove their current mask and replace with the surgical mask we will provide. Cloth and N95 masks can be worn but our mask must be worn over top.
- Your temperature will be taken and COVID-19 screening questions asked to everyone entering the building. If you are experiencing viral symptoms; are a resident of or have visited a nursing home, assisted living facility, group home or any other congregate living area; or if you have been in contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19, please call before coming to an Illinois CancerCare facility.
- Due to our region moving to Phase 4, Illinois CancerCare will now allow one visitor to accompany patients to their office visits if absolutely necessary. Please use discretion when making this decision as we continue to maximize our social distancing. We will continue to ask that no visitors enter our treatments rooms. We are still able to add a family member to the visit by phone, as an additional measure to maintain social distancing.
- Food and drinks are discouraged unless medically necessary or needed due to the length of visit.
As an added precaution to protect our patients, staff and community, visitors are not allowed in our Illinois CancerCare facilities at this time.
- It is preferred visitors drop off/pick up at the front door and do not enter the building with the patient. Staff is available to help patients once inside the building.
- Loved ones are always welcome to participate in provider visits by phone and/or video chat.
- If a visitor is required, please limit to one person and call ahead to notify us at 309.243.3000.
Thank you for your cooperation in helping us protect you, other patients and our Illinois CancerCare team!
As another precaution for both patients and staff, Illinois CancerCare is now proud to offer the option of telemedicine, allowing patients to see their provider from the comfort of home!
You may be called prior to your appointment to discuss your telemedicine options and to help guide you through the process. Once your appointment is set, you will receive an email or text link for easy access to your virtual appointment.
With the current shortage of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), Illinois CancerCare is accepting donations of PPE, specifically N95 Masks. We are also accepting new/sealed packages of disinfecting wipes, hand sanitizer, non-latex powder-free gloves (all sizes), and non-latex powder-free sterile gloves (all sizes).
A donation drop off location has been set up near the back entrance of our Peoria facility:
Please send your address and a list of the supplies delivered to firstname.lastname@example.org. We appreciate our community showing up for our patients and staff at this time of need!
For patients picking up prescriptions from our Peoria clinic, please call our retail pharmacy at 309-243-3405 to arrange your curbside pick up time.
This temporary service is offered as an extra precaution to allow us to continue providing state-of-the-art treatment and compassionate, lifesaving care throughout our communities.
Illinois CancerCare has implemented strict protocols in order to best protect our patients and healthcare providers.
PLEASE call 309-243-3000 if you are displaying a respiratory cough, a fever, flu-like body aches, are feeling ill prior to your appointment with us, or if you have traveled within the last 30 days.
- No visitors will be allowed to accompany a patient to their appointment at all Illinois CancerCare clinics unless absolutely necessary. If a visitor is required, please limit to one person. It is preferred visitors drop off/pick up at the front door and do not enter the building with the patient – staff is available to help patients once inside the building.
- No children under the age of 18 will be permitted.
- All patients, visitors and staff will be screened prior to entering Illinois CancerCare clinics.
- All patients will be called two days prior to your appointment to discuss any COVID-19 symptoms and recent travel.
Illinois CancerCare has always implemented a high standard of cleanliness to protect our patients. We are taking additional measures to eliminate risk and ask you to do the same by following CDC handwashing and social distancing guidelines.
Thank you for trusting Illinois CancerCare and helping us keep everyone safe.
Illinois CancerCare recognizes COVID-19 as a serious illness. We are committed to doing our best to protect our patients and staff. Therefore, extra measures have been put in place to allow us to continue providing state-of-the-art treatment and compassionate, lifesaving care in our 13 clinic communities.
We have been closely tracking the news of COVID-19 and following the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommendations. This is a rapidly evolving situation and we will continue to communicate as information becomes available. Illinois CancerCare is being extremely cautious and is prepared to respond as necessary and appropriate. Our planning is based on the guidance of the CDC, the World Health Organization (WHO), and state and local health departments.
Cancer patients who are undergoing active treatment are at a presumably higher risk than the general population. In order to provide a safe treatment environment, extra cleaning measures have been implemented. Illinois CancerCare is limiting all patients to just one caregiver accompanying them to our facilities. We are also prohibiting all external business, community partners, and vendors, as well as outside donations (blankets, hats, etc.) until further notice to eliminate unnecessary risk and exposure to patients and staff.
All patients who have traveled within the last 30 days or are exhibiting any flu like symptoms (fever, cough, runny nose, sore throat or shortness of breath) need to call 309-243-3000. In addition, all patients will be called two days prior to their appointment to discuss any travel within the last 30 days, possible exposure through others, and any flu like symptoms. If exposure and symptoms are identified, Illinois CancerCare will work closely with each patient to discuss options such as telephone conferencing or appointment rescheduling.
As a reminder, the most effective way to stay healthy is through best health practices to minimize the spread of infectious diseases. Steps everyone can take at home include social distancing, effective handwashing and keeping your house disinfected and clean. For more information on COVID-19, visit cdc.gov and dph.illinois.gov.