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Frequently asked questions coronavirus (update)

March 25, 2020

Patients infected with COVID-19 have been admitted to Erasmus MC. These patients are being treated in strict aerogenic isolation. Erasmus MC is open as usual and safe to visit.

1. I have an appointment (e.g. for blood tests, X-rays, day-patient treatment, or outpatient care) at Erasmus MC; should I come to the hospital?

It depends on whether your appointment can take place by telephone. You will be informed about this personally. If your appointment at Erasmus MC must go ahead and if you have no symptoms such as a fever, head cold, cough, or recent shortness of breath, then you may come to the hospital for your appointment. 
If you have an appointment (including for blood tests etc.) and if you or the person accompanying you has a fever, head cold, cough, or recent shortness of breath, please call your Erasmus MC contact person or the telephone number listed on your appointment letter to discuss whether your appointment will be by telephone or whether you should come to the hospital.

2. May I visit a patient (family or friend) at Erasmus MC?

We request visitors with a head cold, a cough, a fever, or those who have recently become short of breath, not to come to Erasmus MC.

We wish to keep the number of visitors to our hospital to a minimum. One visitor, parent, or carergiver may be present in the hospital per patient per day. This means only one visitor during the visiting hours; you cannot wait until another visitor has left. This is the case for patients that have been admitted to hospital and for patients with outpatient appointments.
We have introduced temporary visitor parking restrictions because of the coronavirus. See the page about parking  for the available parking garages. 

3. May I visit a patient if I have symptoms of a head cold, flu, or a fever?

If you have symptoms such as a fever, head cold, cough, or recent shortness of breath, we ask you not to visit patients who have been admitted to Erasmus MC unless absolutely necessary. If you are unsure, please consult with the patient’s practitioner.

4. I am to be admitted soon and I have flu-like symptoms. Should I come to the hospital?

Please call your Erasmus MC contact person or the telephone number listed on your appointment letter to discuss whether your admission can go ahead and whether you may need to be tested for the novel coronavirus.

5. I am immunocompromised/I have a weakened immune system. Am I more prone to contracting the novel coronavirus?

No, the risk of contracting the novel coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) is the same.

6. I have flu-like symptoms (head cold, fever, cough). Does this mean that I have the novel coronavirus?

Please see the RIVM website.

7. I am pregnant. Am I at greater risk?

No, the course of coronavirus infection appears to be the same in pregnant women as in women who are not pregnant. We are not aware of an increased risk of miscarriage or congenital abnormalities due to the novel coronavirus.

8. My husband/wife/child/partner has been admitted to Erasmus MC. Is he/she at risk of being exposed to the coronavirus? 

COVID-19 patients at Erasmus MC are in isolation and staff members who have tested positive are in home isolation. There is currently no indication that they contracted the virus in the hospital. Staff members who may be at risk check themselves regularly for fever and other symptoms.

9. Is the hospital closed?

No, Erasmus MC is open. But Erasmus MC will temporarily postpone some planned operations. This will of course only be done as far as medically justifiable. We are doing this to free up staff and beds to admit COVID-19 patients. Erasmus MC is currently taking many COVID-19 patients from North Brabant, as are other hospitals in the north of the country.
Patients with non-urgent planned surgery will be contacted personally by phone or email. You do not need to phone Erasmus MC about planned operations. Patients who are to undergo surgery in the coming weeks are advised to check their email and phone regularly.

10. Do all Erasmus MC patients need to be tested for the novel coronavirus? 

This is currently not necessary. 

11. I need to undergo treatment at Erasmus MC soon, but I would like to postpone my appointment/treatment/surgery as a precaution. Is that possible?

As such, it is not necessary to postpone an appointment, treatment, or surgery. We have taken all necessary measures. However, if you still feel uncomfortable, you can change your appointment free of charge up to 24 hours prior to your appointment. For treatments or surgery, please contact the relevant department.

12. Some hospitals send all patients with an outpatient appointment a questionnaire about their health prior to their appointment. In the event of suspicious symptoms patients are strongly recommended to stay at home and consult the hospital by phone first. Does Erasmus MC also do this? If not, why not?

Erasmus MC does not have questionnaires specifically related to COVID-19. If you have an appointment (including for blood tests, etc.) and if you or the person accompanying you has a fever, head cold, cough, or recent shortness of breath, please call your Erasmus MC contact person or the telephone number listed on your appointment letter to discuss whether your appointment will be by telephone or whether you should come to the hospital.

13. I want to be tested for the novel coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) at Erasmus MC. Is that possible?

No, you cannot be tested at Erasmus MC.  Stay home if you have a head cold, cough, sore throat, or a fever. These are mild symptoms. Avoid social contact. Avoid visiting vulnerable people. Only call your GP if your symptoms get worse (a temperature of 38C or more and difficulty breathing) and you require medical help.

14. Do I need to wear protective clothing? 

In principle, you do not need to wear protective clothing when you come to Erasmus MC. If you are visiting a relative/friend who has tested positive for SARS-CoV-2 you do need to wear protective clothing. The clothing and accompanying instruction poster are available in the department. You may only visit after consulting your relative’s/friend’s practitioner. 

15. How are infected patients brought into the hospital ‘safely’? How can I be sure that Erasmus MC is safe?

Patients who have tested positive for the SARS-CoV-2 virus are brought into Erasmus MC safely. We ensure that employees who come into contact with these patients take the necessary isolation measures and other precautions. Please rest assured that it is safe to visit Erasmus MC. 

16. The Prime Minister has advised everyone not to shake hands. Is this being observed at Erasmus MC? 

Droplets form the greatest risk of transmission of the novel coronavirus. This is why it is so important to cough and sneeze into the inside of your elbow and to use paper tissues.

All healthcare workers at Erasmus MC are fully trained in hand hygiene to prevent the spread of bacteria and viruses (including the novel coronavirus). Bacteria and viruses can be transmitted via the hands. We are therefore temporarily not shaking hands at Erasmus MC.

Uneasy patients

Patients who feel uneasy may call the central exchange at 010 703 32 89. Have your patient number ready when you call. 

More Frequently Asked Questions 

In addition to this general list of FAQs, some specialisms, centers, and outpatient clinics have their own list of FAQs about the coronavirus (in Dutch only):