Ridley-Tree Cancer Center COVID-19 FAQs

COVID-19 Information

Q: What is COVID-19?

A: COVID-19 is an infectious disease caused by a recently discovered coronavirus. There is more than one coronavirus, a different coronavirus is responsible for causing the common cold. The particular virus that causes Coronavirus Disease/COVID-19 is Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 or SARS-CoV-2. COVID-19 is spread via infective material, or airborne droplets from an infected individual, or infective material on surfaces.

Symptoms of COVID-19 may include:

  • A fever (a temperature of 100.0 or above)
  • Flu-like symptoms
  • New muscle aches
  • A sore throat
  • New cough
  • New difficulty breathing or pain when taking a breath
  • New fatigue
  • Extreme fatigue
  • New diarrhea
  • New gastrointestinal symptoms
  • New loss of taste or the sense of smell

Symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure to the virus, and some individuals may experience no symptoms at all. Because some individuals experience no symptoms, also known as asymptomatic carries, following all transmission preventions precautions is vital. These precautions include wearing a mask, washing your hands, physical distancing, and staying home if you are sick.

COVID-19 appears to impact individuals over the age of 75 and individuals with certain underlying medical conditions more severely than others. Some of the underlying medical conditions include, type 2 diabetes, heart conditions, kidney disease, and lung disease. These individuals may become more severely ill and need medical treatment and or hospitalization.

Q: What are the symptoms of COVID-19?

A: Flu-like symptoms that may include a fever, muscle aches, fatigue or extreme fatigue, sore throat, new difficulty breathing, new cough, new diarrhea, or new loss of taste or the sense of smell. Individual experiences with symptoms have varied widely with COVID-19, some individuals report mild symptoms or have even been asymptomatic, while other individuals become progressively sicker and need medical treatment and or hospitalization.

Q: What can I do to protect myself?

A: Physical distancing, rigorous hand washing practices, and the wearing of a face mask continue to be best practices for limiting risk for the spread of COVID-19. Face masks help limit the potential spread of infective material when the person wearing the mask is speaking, sneezing, or coughing. Face masks also help limit the potential spread of infective material for the person wearing the mask. Masks should fit snugly but comfortably against the side of the face, be secured with ties or ear loops, include multiple layers of fabric, allow for breathing without restriction, be able to be laundered and machine dried without damage or change to shape.

Vigilance with hand washing is very important as well as avoiding touching your face especially your eyes, nose and mouth, these are mucous membranes and one of the most common pathways viruses spread. To further protect yourself, stay home when possible, and if you must leave your home, maintaining a physical distance of at least 6 feet from individuals outside of your home helps to protect you from contact with infective material.

  • Cover all of your coughs and sneezes.
  • Thoroughly wash your hands with soap and water often. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth.
  • Avoid sharing personal household items like dishes, glasses, cups, silverware, towels and bedding.
  • Clean all ‘high touch’ surfaces daily.
  • Do not have visitors to your home.
  • Observe social distancing of 6 feet even when outside your home.
  • Wear a cloth face mask when out in public (note: medical face masks are required while at Ridley-Tree Cancer Center and they will be provided to all patients upon entry).

Q: Where can I get more information?

A: If you need more information prior to an appointment or have questions about whether you should proceed to your appointment please call the department you are to be seen in, staff will be happy to answer questions or connect you with the proper resources.

Radiation Oncology
1st Floor
805-879-8100
Medical Oncology
2nd Floor
805-879-8240
Surgical Oncology
2nd Floor
805-879-8290
PSIS & Palliative Care
2nd Floor
805-879-8200
Medical Oncology
3rd Floor
805-879-8310
PSIS, Research, Infusion
3rd Floor
805-879-8300

 
For further and up to date information on COVID-19 in Santa Barbara County, please visit: publichealthsbc.org, and ridleytreecc.org.

Q: I believe I might have COVID-19, what should I do next?

A: If you are experiencing symptoms of medical emergency, such as difficulty breathing, chest pain or pressure, lips or face that become blue or gray in color, confusion, trouble staying awake, or other potentially life-threatening symptoms, please call 911 immediately.

Call your Primary Care Provider for medical advice. Your healthcare provider will help determine if you meet the criteria for testing or if you should stay home.

Access our COVID-19 Symptom Checker in MyChart. This is an online tool that will ask you a series of questions and provide you with recommended next steps. If you have shortness of breath, high fever or other severe symptoms, please contact your healthcare provider first.

Potential symptoms of COVID-19 may include a fever, muscle aches, fatigue or extreme fatigue, sore throat, new difficulty breathing, new cough, new diarrhea, or new loss of taste or the sense of smell. Individual experiences with symptoms have varied widely with COVID-19, some individuals report mild symptoms or have even been asymptomatic, while other individuals become progressively sicker and need medical attention and or hospitalization.

RTCC Specific Information

Q: How is Ridley-Tree Cancer Center protecting my safety?

A:

  • Pre-screening efforts and education to patients prior to each visit
  • Every person entering the building will answer screening questions and have their temperature taken
  • Every person in the building must wear a medical face mask
  • Implementation of a No Visitors protocol for the building
  • Classes and groups have been moved online
  • Social distancing is practiced throughout the building
  • Increasing the use of telehealth technologies when possible
  • Suspension of certain in building services
  • Increased sanitation throughout the building
  • COVID-19 testing when clinically indicated

Q: Are any patient areas closed?

A: Yes, we have cancelled in-person wellness classes and support groups. We are offering many of our longstanding wellness classes online, and online support groups. Please visit the COVID-19 Supportive Care Online Resources webpage to learn more.

The Resource Library is temporarily closed. Library services are available via phone, email and mail. Visit the Resource Library website to learn more: https://library.ridleytreecc.org/cancer-center/care-treatment/supportive-care-programs/cancer-resource-library.

Q: Are classes, support groups, and events still being held?

A: Yes, however classes, support groups, and events are not being held in-person. We are offering many of our longstanding wellness classes online, and online support groups. Please visit the COVID-19 Supportive Care Online Resources webpage or our Calendar to learn more.

The Resource Library is temporarily closed. Library services are available via phone, email and mail. Visit the Resource Library website to learn more: https://library.ridleytreecc.org/cancer-center/care-treatment/supportive-care-programs/cancer-resource-library.

Q: What are provisions specific to cancer screening, care, and treatment and COVID-19 that I should know?

A: COVID-19 appears to impact individuals over the age of 75 and individuals with certain underlying medical conditions more severely than others. Some of the underlying medical conditions include, type 2 diabetes, heart conditions, kidney disease, and lung disease. These individuals may become more severely ill and need medical treatment and or hospitalization. Immunocompromised individuals are also at greater risk for becoming sick with COVID-19 and becoming sick with severe disease.

While receiving cancer treatment it is critical to practice the advised precautions of wearing a mask, being vigilant with hand washing and overall hygiene, staying home if you are sick, and avoiding close contact with individuals outside of your household in an effort to stay as healthy as possible to keep your treatment occurring as scheduled by your doctor. These precautions also remain vital as the COVID-19 vaccine becomes more widely available, the best way to protect yourself is prevention of contracting the virus.

Some of the symptoms of COVID-19 are similar to the side effect symptoms of certain cancer treatments. Be sure to have a discussion with your doctor about how to report and monitor side effects as well as potential new symptoms of COVID-19. Please update your doctor/team prior to appointments with any changes or as they advise you to during treatment.

Visitor Information

Q: I have a scheduled appointment, should I proceed to my scheduled appointment?

A: The answer is likely yes, whether for an in-person appointment or a telehealth appointment. If it is your preference and the needs of your appointment are able to be accomplished via a telemedicine appointment, your team can schedule you for such an appointment.

If your preference is or the needs of your appointment require an in person visit, your team can schedule you for such an appointment. Please reach out to the specific department you have an appointment or scheduled treatment with any questions, or if you are experiencing any cough, shortness of breath, sore throat, fever, flu-like symptoms, muscle aches, fatigue, gastrointestinal symptoms, or have been in close contact with anyone with COVID-19 for further consultation.

Radiation Oncology
1st Floor
805-879-8100
Medical Oncology
2nd Floor
805-879-8240
Surgical Oncology
2nd Floor
805-879-8290
PSIS & Palliative Care
2nd Floor
805-879-8200
Medical Oncology
3rd Floor
805-879-8310
PSIS, Research, Infusion
3rd Floor
805-879-8300

 

You will be screened for COVID-19 symptoms and for a fever every time you enter the building.

Q: Are visitors allowed to accompany me to appointments?

A: No, visitors are not allowed at this time, exceptions will be determined by your physician on a case-by-case basis. Your safety and our ability to continue to safely treat and care for you is our highest priority. COVID-19 poses a unique occasion for your care team to advise and partner with you for the best care and safety precautions as we understand them today.

Regulating the people in the building allows us to better ensure your safety and the safety of the staff.  Any exceptions will be determined on a case-by-case basis, the exception approval will come from your physician. We know that family members, care givers, support persons are so important to your care, perhaps they can join your visit via speaker phone.

Q: Where can family/visitors/care givers wait for me during appointments?

A:

  • 540 W. Pueblo Location
    • Healing Garden, 540 W Pueblo St, Santa Barbara, CA 93105
    • Visit our Healing Garden, located behind the cancer center
  • Park Place Deli, 403 W Pueblo St, Santa Barbara, CA 93105
    • Offers food and coffee, Located directly across the street from the main entrance to Cottage Hospital
  • Oak Park, Santa Barbara, CA 93105
    • A park that offers lots of shade from lots of Oak trees, a short walk or drive from the cancer center
  • Mission Street Ice Cream & Yogurt – Featuring McConnell's Fine Ice Creams, 201 W Mission St, Santa Barbara, CA 93101
    • Offers ice cream and frozen yogurt, a short walk or drive from the cancer center
  • Daily Grind Coffee Shop, 2001 De La Vina St, Santa Barbara, CA 93105
    • Offers food and coffee, a short walk or drive from the cancer center
  • 2040 Viborg Road Location
    • Nielsens Shopping Center, Alamo Pintado Rd, Solvang, CA 93463
    • Offers a drug store, grocery store, several restaurants, a short drive from the cancer center
  • New Frontiers Natural Marketplace, 1984 Old Mission Drive, Solvang, CA 93463
    • Grocery store also offering prepared food and coffee, a short drive from the cancer center
  • Sunny Fields Park, Solvang, CA 93463
    • A park that offers lots of shade and picnic tables, a short drive from the cancer center

Appointments

Q: I have a scheduled in-person appointment, what do I need to know for this visit?

A: Please wear a medical face mask to your appointment, please know that visitors or family may not accompany you to our appointment at this time, you will be screened for COVID-19 symptoms and for a fever every time you enter the building. Please follow any other specific instructions given to you by the specific department you have an appointment with related to entering the building and arrival prior to your appointment.

Please reach out to the specific department you have an appointment or scheduled treatment with any questions, or if you are experiencing any cough, shortness of breath, sore throat, fever, flu-like symptoms, muscle aches, fatigue, gastrointestinal symptoms, or have been in close contact with anyone with COVID-19 for further consultation. Your team will assist you in knowing if it is safe for you to proceed to your appointment as scheduled.

Radiation Oncology
1st Floor
805-879-8100
Medical Oncology
2nd Floor
805-879-8240
Surgical Oncology
2nd Floor
805-879-8290
PSIS & Palliative Care
2nd Floor
805-879-8200
Medical Oncology
3rd Floor
805-879-8310
PSIS, Research, Infusion
3rd Floor
805-879-8300


Q: What changes can I expect to see in the building?

A:   

  • All persons entering the building will be screened prior to entry
  • Physical distancing of 6 feet with the exception of exams and treatment areas will be practiced throughout the building including elevators
  • Some departments may offer patient escorts conducted by staff to ensure safety and distancing
  • Staff at desks in lobbies and patient areas are now behind protective shields, these shields have been installed throughout the building
  • Waiting rooms will have instruction cards on seating to assist with physical distancing
  • You will see staff wearing enhanced PPE for the duration of your visit
  • You will see that some services, such as available tea and coffee, are currently suspended

Q: How will I be screened to enter the building, and how long will it take?

A: Anyone entering the building will be screened by answering if they are entering the building for an appointment, COVID-19 symptom questions, and will have their temperature taken. Your temperature will be taken with an infrared thermometer, in some cases, there could be a need to retake your temperature and retake your temperature using a temporal thermometer. Patients entering the building will also need to be wearing a medical face mask, if you do not have one, a medical face mask will be provided to you.

Screening should take just a few minutes, there are two screeners to assist patients entering the building which aides in reducing any wait time. There are markings on the ground and floor at the front door of the building to help alert patients and staff to the appropriate 6 feet distance if there is a wait to enter the building.

Please attempt to allow and arrive to the building at least 15 minutes prior to your scheduled appointment. This will help ensure you have time to enter the building, be screened, and travel to the department in which you are being seen. Please follow any other specific instructions given to you by the specific department you have an appointment with related to entering the building and arrival prior to your appointment.

Q: I have a scheduled telemedicine appointment, what do I need to know for this visit?

A: Due to COVID-19, Telehealth visits conducted on computers, tablets and telephones should temporarily be covered by all health plans.

Once you have a Telehealth visit scheduled, you will need to take a few steps to make sure you have the right technology for the appointment.

While you can attend the Telehealth visit on your computer, we highly recommend that you use a mobile device (iPad, iPhone or Android Phone). If you plan to conduct the appointment on your iPad, iPhone or Android, you will need to download the MyChart app from the Apple App store or the Google Play store (MyChart Mobile App Instructions)

While our preferred method for a secure and seamless Telehealth visit is through MyChart, you can still have a Telehealth video or phone visit without an active MyChart account. We will email or text you a secure link to click to connect you with your provider. To prepare for the appointment, visit www.zoom.us/test from the device you will be using (desktop computer, smartphone or iPad). If you’re using a mobile device, you will be prompted to download the Zoom app. If you are using your desktop computer, make sure you have speakers and a microphone on your computer or plan to join the zoom audio via phone call.

Conducting a Zoom Test to Prepare for Your Telehealth Appointment

If you have an upcoming Telehealth visit, we advise that you check ahead of time to make sure your computer or device is ready by visiting www.zoom.us/test. We recommend doing this at least 30 minutes prior to your scheduled visit time to help ensure your visit goes smoothly. This will ensure you are ready with both the video and audio functions for your Telehealth visit.

Telehealth Alternatives to Zoom

In some cases, our healthcare providers will conduct Telehealth visits using FaceTime, Doximity, telephone only, or a different alternative to Zoom, if needed. Your provider’s office will provide all necessary details.

Zoom Troubleshooting Tips and Tricks

If you are experiencing issues with Zoom after doing the Telehealth instructions below, please scroll down the page, or click here, to find some common troubleshooting tips and tricks that will help to ensure a seamless experience.

Questions? Call the MyChart Help Desk at (805) 898-3333. Our hours of operation are Monday through Friday, 8:00 am-5:00 pm.

Please visit https://telehealth.sansumclinic.org/ for further information and support.

For any changes to your appointment or continued questions or needs, please call the department with which you have an appointment:

Radiation Oncology
1st Floor
805-879-8100
Medical Oncology
2nd Floor
805-879-8240
Surgical Oncology
2nd Floor
805-879-8290
PSIS & Palliative Care
2nd Floor
805-879-8200
Medical Oncology
3rd Floor
805-879-8310
PSIS, Research, Infusion
3rd Floor
805-879-8300