COVID-19 Updates

CHCWM’s COVID-19 policies.

Updated 11/17/2022

COVID-19: Frequently Asked Questions 

All CHCWM recommendations are based on CDC recommendations. For the most up to date information, please go to https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html. 

Are masks required at CHCWM offices? 

Yes, we continue to require medical grade masks be worn by everyone in a CHCWM setting.  

When should I test for COVID? 

If you have any symptoms, we recommend getting a COVID test prior to coming to your appt.

If I have symptoms of COVID, but have not been tested, should I come to my appointment at CHCWM? 

  No. You should test.  However, if you do not test, please call, and notify our staff of your symptoms. We will coordinate a plan of care for you that will involve moving your treatment and/or scheduling a nurse phone call 

 

Vaccines

Should cancer patients get an initial COVID-19 booster and when? 

Yes, all patients should receive an initial booster 5 months after primary series if originally received Pfizer or Moderna COVID-19 vaccines. An initial booster should be 2 months after primary vaccine if originally received J&J COVID-19 vaccine.

Should cancer patients get a second COVID-19 booster and when?

Yes, we encourage a second booster for the following approved groups:

  • Ages 50 and older
  • Ages 12 and older if immunocompromised

Timing of Second Booster for Those Not Immunocompromised:

  • Ages 50 and older can receive second booster of either mRNA COVID-19 vaccine at least 4 months after first booster
  • Ages 18-49 who received the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine as their primary and first booster, can receive second booster of either mRNA COVID-19 vaccine at least 4 months after first booster

Timing of Second Booster for Those Immunocompromised:

  • Ages 12-17 can receive second booster of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine at least 4 months after their first booster
  • Ages 18 and older can receive second booster of either mRNA COVID-19 vaccine at least 4 months after their first booster

Should immunocompromised patients get an additional primary shot? 

  • People age 5+ who are moderately or severely immunocompromised should get an Bivalant COVID-19 vaccine. Given 28 days after 2nd shot, only if you received Pfizer or Moderna vaccines.
  • People who are moderate to severely immunocompromised should receive additional booster shots (4th vaccine) 5 months after their most recent booster. 

Who Is Immunocompromised? 

People are considered to be moderately or severely immunocompromised if they: 

  • Are receiving active cancer treatment for tumors or cancers of the blood  
  • Have received an organ transplant and are taking medicine to suppress the immune system 
  • Have received a stem cell transplant within the last 2 years or are taking medicine to suppress the immune system 
  • Moderate or severe primary immunodeficiency (such as DiGeorge syndrome, Wiskott-Aldrich syndrome) 
  • Advanced or untreated HIV infection 
  • Are receiving active treatment with high-dose corticosteroids or other drugs that may suppress your immune response 

How do I know if I was exposed? 

Exposure is defined as being around someone who tested positive for COVID: 

  • For more than 15 minutes total time  
  • Within six feet 
  • Masked or unmasked 

This includes two days prior to the start of their symptoms or positive test 

When do I quarantine and test? 

The date of your exposure is considered day 0. Day 1 is the first full day after your last contact with the person who has COVID

If you test positive for COVID or have symptoms, regardless of Vaccination status 

  • If you are scheduled to visit our office for any reason within 10 days of your positive test, please call the office to inform us of your positive test. We will coordinate a plan of care for you that may involve moving your treatment and/or scheduling a nurse phone call 
  • Stay home for 5 days from the start of symptoms or positive test (if asymptomatic) and isolate from others in your home. 
  • You may end isolation after 5 full days if you are fever-free for 24 hours (without the use of fever-reducing medication) and your symptoms are improving.  
  • Wear a well-fitted mask for 5 additional days any time you are around others inside your home or in public. Do not go to places where you are unable to wear a mask. 

You do not need to retest to come back to the clinic 

For people at elevated risk of disease progression, the FDA has issued EUAs (Emergency Use Authorization) for a few treatments for COVID. 

  • Monoclonal antibody treatments could help the immune system recognize and respond more effectively to the virus. 
  • Oral antiviral medications that target specific parts of the SARS-CoV-2 virus can help reduce its multiplication and spread through the patient’s body. 
  • Some of these treatments may not be effective against the Omicron variant. Your healthcare provider will decide which, if any, of these treatments are appropriate to treat your illness.