TO: Massachusetts General Hospital Cancer Center Patients

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The COVID-19 pandemic has changed how each of us interacts with the outside world, including getting the healthcare we need. Given this time of uncertainty, it can be confusing to know when to come to the hospital for care, and whether it is safe.

At Mass General we provide a full range of services for general care and care to COVID-19 patients. Your safety is our number one priority and we have taken measures to ensure that both general care and COVID care patients are safe.

During the pandemic, we encourage you to stay in close communication with your provider and care team, particularly if you have a serious illness or chronic disease that requires ongoing care.

Below are the answers to some Frequently Asked Questions during the pandemic:

Is Mass General ‘open’ to see general patients who are not COVID-19 positive?

Yes, we are open to see all patients for necessary general care in the outpatient and inpatient settings. Due to the pandemic and the need to physical distance, we are offering virtual visits, where possible. Outpatient visits are available for necessary care that requires a face to face visit, physical examination, treatment, or procedure.

If you have a serious illness or chronic disease you should not hesitate to contact or call Mass General for an appointment in Boston or one of our community-based network sites.

How is COVID-19 care provided at Mass General?

For patients who have symptoms of COVID infection (new fever, cough, sore throat, runny nose/nasal congestion, shortness of breath, muscle aches, or inability to smell), please contact your Mass General provider who can discuss COVID testing and care in one of our dedicated ambulatory Respiratory Illness Clinics (RICs).

COVID care is provided for affected inpatients following hospital infection control policies and procedures. In the outpatient setting, patients with COVID-19 or symptoms that are consistent with COVID-19 may be seen in a Routine Ambulatory Care for COVID clinic (RAC-C) or other area that has been established to care for this patient population. Staff in these units have access to the required Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), including N95 respirators, gowns, gloves, and eye protection. Staff receive training in the use of PPE and other infection control practices to keep you safe. All locations where COVID care is provided have been approved by the hospital’s Infection Control Unit.

What is Mass General doing to protect patients, visitors, and employees?

Your safety is our priority. Many additional safety measures, as recommended by public health authorities, have been implemented, including:

  • All patients, visitors and employees wear hospital-issued masks while on hospital premises.
  • Modifications to our common spaces have been made to allow for physical distancing or when not possible, development of workflows to minimize density of patients, visitors, and employees.
  • Employees are screened for symptoms each day prior to beginning work.
  • Patients and visitors are screened for symptoms prior to arrival when scheduled and upon arrival regardless of pre-visit screening.
  • Departments are working under specific infection control plans for evaluation and management of patients with suspected or confirmed COVID-19.
  • Mass General is using tele-health and tele-work when appropriate to promote physical distancing.

Can I get my care without going into Mass General?

Yes, depending on your personal needs and preferences, you might be able to have a virtual visit. Virtual visits are held through your phone, electronic device, or computer and allow you to see and talk to your doctor face-to-face. Or you may have the option to go to one of our community-based network sites. Together with you, we will determine, what is best for your specific situation and needs.

Should I delay seeking care?

No. Although you might be tempted to delay some necessary, standard care, please don’t. Your condition could worsen, or you may need more aggressive treatments or procedures if you wait.

Medical emergencies are the same as before the COVID-19 pandemic. If you have an emergency you should come to the Mass General Emergency Department.


Mass General is expert at providing all types of general care and COVID-19 care. Your safety is our number one priority and we are here for you.

Please contact your provider or you are welcome to contact us via Patient Gateway or call our office. We are here for you and happy to meet your medical needs.


Mass General Cancer Center