Please be aware that we review and update the following information on a regular basis and share any changes with our staff prior to posting.
COVID-19 INFORMATION - Updated May 4, 2023 - Patient and Visitor information
We at the VOA community would like to extend our heartfelt gratitude for your unwavering efforts in managing the COVID-19 pandemic. Your commitment to getting vaccinated and boosted, staying home when sick, and wearing masks has undoubtedly helped slow the spread of this disease.
Since March 2020, VOA has mandated masking for the patient- and visitor-facing areas to protect everyone from COVID-19. However, with the decline in cases in our community, the universal masking mandate became optional on Wednesday, March 29, in outpatient spaces where direct patient care is provided.
While masks are no longer required, they are still recommended for our moderately to severely immunocompromised patients. Patients exposed to COVID showing no symptoms should wear a mask inside our facilities. Patients with fevers or other symptoms are still encouraged to be screened and assessed in the urgent care setting.
Our staff will wear masks when it is best for patient safety, such as in settings where patients are prepared for surgery/procedures or to receive cancer treatment.
We also ask that you respect anyone who chooses to wear a mask out of personal preference, individual risk factors, or due to illness symptoms. The VOA COVID Task Force is dedicated to keeping everyone safe and will continue to monitor the CDC, OSHA, and NIH guidelines and update our guidance accordingly.
Thank you for your continued cooperation as we work to keep our patients, staff, and visitors safe.
The VOA COVID Task Force
Heather A Jones, MD, PhD
The VOA COVID Task Force Lead
The Coronavirus Task Force would like to take a moment to update you on our visitation policy for all clinic sites. At this time, we will continue to limit visitation to one person per patient, and we ask that all visitors respect this policy during their time at the clinic.
We also want to remind visitors that the infusion and radiation treatment areas are designated as restricted areas and should be kept free of visitors at all times. This is to help ensure the safety of our patients, as well as to minimize the risk of transmission of infection.
While we have made the decision to make masks optional at this time, we want to be cautious in making any changes to our policies that could impact the health and well-being of our very vulnerable patient population. Our patients often have weakened immune systems and are not able to be vaccinated, or they are at high risk for severe illness from COVID-19. We are closely monitoring transmission levels, which have been fluctuating, and we want to change only one variable at a time to assess the impact on our patients.
We understand that these policies may be inconvenient for some visitors, but we want to assure you that they are in place to protect the health and safety of our patients and staff. We are aligned with many of the major health organizations in the Hampton Roads region that have allowed masking to be optional. However, we must take extra precautions due to the vulnerable members of our community that we serve.
We continue to ask all visitors to follow the below information for self-screening prior to entering the office:
- Visitors attest that they do not have COVID-19 or related symptoms. This declaration is made by simply entering our facility.
- Visitors who tested positive, had contact with someone who tested positive, or have pending COVID results within the last 14 days are not allowed.
- Visitors with symptoms such as fever, cough, or shortness of breath are not allowed.
- It is recommended that visitors be fully vaccinated for COVID-19, including booster shots.
- One support person may accompany an infusion center patient for extenuating circumstances, but cannot stay during the appointment.
We would like to thank you for your cooperation and understanding during these challenging times. By limiting the number of visitors, we can reduce the risk of overcrowding and protect our patient population. If you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to ask a member of our team.
The VOA COVID Task Force
For additional information, view the resources below.
A Message from Dr. Gradon Nielsen about the COVID-19 Vaccine and Cancer Treatment
What do patients receiving cancer treatment need to know about the COVID-19 Vaccine? Dr. Gradon Nielsen, from Virginia Oncology Associates, answers common questions about the safety and effectiveness of taking the vaccine while undergoing cancer treatment. It is important for cancer patients to receive the vaccine as they run a higher risk for COVID. Watch to learn more about the best time to take the vaccine based on your cancer treatment plan and if you still need it if you have been previously diagnosed with COVID-19.