At Seattle Cancer Care Alliance (SCCA), our patients' health and safety are our top priorities. SCCA is open regular hours and continues to care for patients. We are providing the majority of treatments, including most surgeries. We have thorough safety measures in place to protect you, your caregivers, and our staff.
The information presented in this page is subject to change pending guidance from the CDC, WHO and/or Public Health – Seattle & King County.
For more information, click on the category link to jump directly to the questions and answers.
Hours and appointments
Is SCCA open?
Yes. We are open and operating under normal hours; Governor Inslee’s stay-at-home order for Washington state does not apply to healthcare facilities.
Has SCCA postponed certain appointments, surgeries, and procedures?
Most surgeries and treatments that were postponed are in the process of being rescheduled.
When will SCCA start seeing patients for non-essential appointments, procedures and surgeries?
We are already seeing some patients via telehealth and are rescheduling others, following guidance from the CDC, DOH, and Governor Inslee.
What are the symptoms of COVID-19?
COVID-19 symptoms include:
- Shortness of breath
- Chest tightness
- Sore throat
- Stuffy nose or runny nose
- Loss of taste or smell
- New onset of diarrhea
- Muscle aches and pains
What should SCCA patients do if they have symptoms?
If you have an appointment scheduled, you will receive a pre-visit screening call to make sure it is safe for you to come into the clinic.
If you have an appointment, have COVID-19 symptoms and have not received a call before your appointment, please call our COVID-19 hotline at (206) 606-2880. The line is answered from 8 am – 5 pm Monday – Friday. Knowing about symptoms before you come to the clinic helps us keep everyone safe.
If you are an SCCA patient with symptoms and do not have an upcoming appointment, please call the COVID-19 hotline.
COVID-19 and cancer
Are cancer patients at greater risk of contracting COVID-19?
According to SCCA’s medical director of Infection Prevention, Dr. Steven Pergam, patients with blood malignancies (non-Hodgkin lymphoma, chronic lymphocytic leukemia, acute myeloid leukemia, acute lymphoblastic leukemia and multiple myeloma) and those who have received bone marrow transplants are most vulnerable because they have the most profound immune deficits.
Patients who are in active treatment for any type of cancer are also at risk. Patients who are not in active treatment should also be cautious and follow widely distributed public health guidelines, which are detailed below under “What can I can do to keep myself, my family and friends safe?”
Keeping you safe
What is SCCA doing to protect patients?
SCCA is taking the following steps:
- Calling patients before they come into the clinic to screen for symptoms. If appropriate, patients are scheduled for drive-through testing.
- Screening all who enter the clinic for COVID-19 symptoms.
- Providing procedure masks to all staff working in the clinic.
- As of April 27, all patients, visitors, and staff in SCCA clinics must wear a mask. If patients and visitors aren’t wearing one, a mask will be provided upon arrival. Please see CDC guidelines on how to protect yourself for more information.
Staff will receive masks and are required to wear them when they are in the clinic.
- Canceling or rescheduling many non-critical patient visits.
- Limiting the number of visitors. This includes:
- Scheduling telehealth appointments for non-critical patient visits when possible.
- Limiting the number of caregivers that patients can bring to their appointment (one caregiver; no children under 12).
- Keeping all non-essential staff out of the clinic.
- Postponing all patient education events, classes and volunteer opportunities. Some classes are available online at youtube.com/c/SCCAPatientEducation.
- Increasing the frequency of cleaning high-touch surfaces such as door handles and elevator buttons.
- Closing SCCA's retail stores, the Gift Shop in the South Lake Union clinic and Shine in SCCA House. Shine is open by appointment only for asymptomatic patients who need post-surgical camisoles, compression garments, mastectomy bras and breast prosthesis. Call (206) 606-7560 to schedule an appointment.
Should I be worried about getting infected with COVID-19 at SCCA?
SCCA has extensive and thorough infection control procedures, and we are doing everything we can to ensure the health and safety of our community. We have protocols and systems in place to keep all patients, visitors and healthcare workers safe.
What can I do to keep myself, my family and friends safe?
The most important steps to take:
- Avoid going to gatherings with large numbers of people; heed social distancing guidelines.
- Stay home when you are sick.
- Wear a cloth face covering when you are out in public and cannot practice social distancing.
- Wear a cloth face covering before you enter a healthcare setting, including SCCA clinics.
- Practice good hand hygiene and cough and sneeze etiquette. Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.
- Currently, there is no evidence to suggest that COVID-19 can be transmitted through food or water systems. However, you can take extra steps to help protect your health while preparing, cooking and shopping for food. Visit our document downloads page and click on Food, Nutrition and COVID-19 for more information.
- Plan how you will take care of sick family members. Make plans for childcare if you are sick or if your child is sick. Have a thermometer at home so you can check for fever if you or a loved one feels ill.
- Try to get a few extra months’ worth of your prescription medications, if possible.
- Stay informed – check the CDC site regularly for new updates.
Can I have a telehealth visit with my provider?
If you are a current SCCA patient and your provider decides it is medically appropriate, you may be able to have an appointment via telehealth. If it is an option for you, your scheduler/team coordinator will call you to make sure you have the right technology and schedule your appointment.
If you are new to SCCA and interested in a telehealth appointment, please contact our intake team at (855) 557-0555 to see if you are eligible.
Screening and testing
How is SCCA screening patients for COVID-19?
Patients with appointments will receive a pre-visit screening call to make sure it is safe for them to come into the clinic. If you have an appointment, have not received a call and have COVID-19 symptoms, please call our COVID-19 hotline before coming to the clinic at (206) 606-2880. The line is answered daily from 8 am - 5 pm. Knowing about symptoms before you come to the clinic helps ensure everyone’s safety.
All who enter SCCA clinics are screened upon entry COVID-19 symptoms. Every person will be given an I’ve been screened sticker. Anyone with symptoms will be given a procedure mask and evaluated in a separate area.
Is SCCA testing patients and staff for COVID-19?
Drive-through testing is available for eligible SCCA patients by appointment only at SCCA South Lake Union. If you are an SCCA patient with symptoms and think you need to be tested for COVID-19, please call the COVID-19 hotline at (206) 606-2880, daily from 8 am - 5 pm. Our nurses will assess your symptoms and determine if testing is needed.
Patients who come to the clinic for appointments are evaluated and if they need to be tested, it is done in an enclosed area away from other patients and family members.
Additionally, SCCA staff are tested as needed at a drive-through location at SCCA by appointment only.
How long does it take for results to come back?
Generally, we can get COVID-19 test results back within 24 hours.
Have there been any COVID-19 exposures at SCCA?
SCCA has identified patients and staff who have tested positive for COVID-19. We are following the CDC and Department of Health guidelines for notifying people who are at risk of exposure and giving them guidance on next steps. Environmental Services has increased the frequency of cleaning of high-touch surfaces such as door handles and elevator buttons. The disinfectants that we use are effective at killing COVID-19.
Please be assured that SCCA has a robust and strict infection prevention protocol to safeguard the health and safety of our patients and staff.
Should I wear a mask in the clinic?
Yes. In line with CDC guidance, all patients, visitors, and staff in SCCA clinics must wear a mask in the clinic. If you’re coming for an appointment, please wear a mask. If someone comes with you, they should wear one, too. A mask will be provided to those who aren’t wearing one.
By covering your mouth and nose, it appears that you are less likely to spread the virus when you are not showing symptoms (asymptomatic) or have early symptoms that aren’t recognized.
Should I wear a mask in public?
The CDC recommends wearing cloth face coverings in public settings where social distancing measures are difficult to maintain. By covering your mouth and nose, it appears that you are less likely to spread the virus when you are not showing symptoms (asymptomatic) or have early symptoms that aren’t recognized.
Wearing a cloth face covering also helps make sure you don’t touch your face during the day. It’s important to recognize that cloth face coverings are thought to provide the wearer limited additional protection from infection and are not a replacement for social distancing and hand hygiene.
How do I make a cloth face covering?
The CDC has provided guidelines about making homemade cloth face coverings. Click here to learn more.
How do I wear a cloth face covering?
To put on a cloth face covering:
- Wash your hands with soap and water or hand gel (if soap and water aren’t available).
- Without touching the front of your face covering, stretch the bands around your ears or secure the ties around your head (depending on the type of face covering you have).
- Cover the area from the bridge of your nose to under your chin.
- Fit the face covering snugly but comfortably against the side of your face.
- Make sure you can breathe without restriction.
- Wash your hands.
To remove a cloth face covering:
- Wash your hands with soap and water or hand gel (if soap and water aren’t available).
- Untie the ties from your head or remove the bands from your ears.
- Remove the face covering by the straps. Do not touch the front or inside of the face covering (the part over your nose and mouth). It may be contaminated from your breathing, coughing or sneezing. If you touch the face covering, wash your hands.
- Wash your hands.
- Wash your hands each time you put on and take off the face covering.
- Avoid touching the front of your face covering while you’re wearing it. If you do, wash your hands.
- Do NOT pull the face covering down to expose your nose or mouth. Adjust the face covering using the ties on your head or cords around your ears.
How you can help
Blood drive cancellations due to the COVID-related closures of schools, businesses and events are jeopardizing our region’s blood supply. A healthy blood supply is vital to cancer treatment. If you are healthy and able, please consider donating blood, or at least spread the word about our current need. Find out more about donating blood at Bloodworks Northwest.
Donate cloth masks
In order to continue to support our patients, caregivers and staff, we need donations of homemade cloth masks. If making masks, we ask that you CDC guidance. For more information on mask donation, please visit SCCA’s in-kind donations page.
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
- Washington State Department of Health
- Washington State COVID-19 information
- SCCA patient education COVID-19 resources
- American Cancer Society (ACS): Coronavirus, COVID-19, and Cancer
- CancerCare®: Coronavirus (COVID-19) Resources
- Cancer.Net: Coronavirus 2019, What People With Cancer Need to Know
- Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS): Coronavirus resources and what you should know
- Pancreatic Cancer Action Network (PANCAN): Frequently Asked Questions About Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) and Pancreatic Cancer
Resources for limited English speakers
Interpreter services for non-English speaking SCCA patients:
A helpline for non-English speaking SCCA patients is available by calling 1 (800) 525-0127 and pressing #. This helpline is open from 6 am - 10 pm every day. Operators will connect callers with a third-party interpreter. The caller will need to be able to say in English what language they need for interpretation.
Seattle’s Office of Immigrant and Refugee Affairs:
- Información importante de COVID-19 en español
- Thông tin quan trọng COVID-19 bằng tiếng Việt.
- 한국어로 된 중요한 COVID-19 정보.
- በአማርኛ ውስጥ አስፈላጊ COVID-19 መረጃ ፡፡
- Macluumaadka muhiimka ah ee COVID-19 ee af-soomaaliga.
- Важная информация о COVID-19 на русском языке.
- معلومات مهمة حول COVID-19 باللغة العربية.
- ข้อมูลสำคัญเกี่ยวกับ COVID-19 ในภาษาไทย
- ព័ត៌មានសំខាន់អំពី COVID-19 ជាភាសាខ្មែរ។