The coronavirus: frequently asked questions (update: October 20, 2020)
Prepare for your visit. Read the current information about our measures against the coronavirus. And find out what we expect from you Together, we help to prevent the spread of the virus. For your health and ours.
Measures in Erasmus MC
Patient care continues safely
In Erasmus MC, normal care continues safely. All specialisms hold consultation hours at the outpatient clinics. We advise you to wear your own oral mask from age 13 and over when visiting Erasmus MC. The urgent national advice to wear masks in public spaces is also applicable in the Erasmus MC.
Click on this video to see how Erasmus MC provides safe care, especially now that the coronavirus is here:
The information provided below is also for the parents of children visiting Erasmus MC Sophia Children’s Hospital.
Is it safe to visit the hospital?
Erasmus MC is open as usual and safe to visit. Measures have been put in place for employees, patients, and visitors to prevent infection:
- From 13 years and older, we ask you to wear your own mask when you visit our hospital. Do you have corona-like complaints as a patient? Then we exchange your own mask upon entering the hospital for a medical nasal mask.
- All our employees wear a mask in the public areas. These are the areas that are accessible to patients, visitors and supervisors.
- When our caregivers have direct contact with patients, they wear a medical mask or splash goggles. This applies to outpatient clinics, nursing departments and departments such as the department of radiology and Central patient lab services.
- Once the caregiver and patient are 1.5 meters away from each other, the mask may be worn off.
- Infected patients will remain separated from other patients.
- We have now arranged things in the hospital to make sure that patients and visitors can keep a safe distance from one another; this includes waiting areas.
- We are spreading out appointments throughout the day so that there are never too many patients in the hospital at the same time.
I have an appointment at Erasmus MC. Should I come to the hospital?
You will be informed personally about your appointment in the hospital. You do not need to phone us about planned appointments. We advise you to check your email and phone regularly if you have an appointment in the near future. Please notice: we use an anonymous number to call you. Please answer the phone so we can talk to you.
Your healthcare practitioner may decide that it is better for you if your appointment takes place by phone or video call. This means that you will still have direct and personal contact with your healthcare provider, but will not have to visit the hospital for your treatment.
- Your practitioner may, for instance, decide to postpone your appointment if that is medically appropriate.
- Your practitioner may first want you to have a test done for coronavirus.
- Or see you in a dedicated isolation room and ask you to wear a face mask during your appointment.
Do not come to the hospital without contacting your practitioner first if you have a head cold, fever, cough, or shortness of breath. If the person accompanying you has these symptoms, ask someone else to accompany you. If this is not possible, please contact your practitioner. This also applies to children and their parents/carers.
Can my admission or day-patient treatment go ahead?
You will be informed personally about your admission to hospital or day-patient treatment. You do not need to phone us about planned appointments. We advise you to check your email and phone regularly if you are to be admitted or have day-patient treatment in the coming weeks.
Day-patient cancer treatment and admissions
Cancer treatment including day-patient treatments such as chemotherapy or radiotherapy and planned hospitalizations will go ahead as usual. We will contact you if this changes.
Will my appointment, day-patient treatment, or admission be different than usual because of the coronavirus?
Your safety and that of our staff is vital to us, which is why we ask you to observe the following:
- We ask you not to arrive at the hospital too long before your appointment time.
- If you are too early for your appointment, please wait in the central area (Het Plein/the Square or Passage) where you enter the hospital.
- No more than one person may accompany you or your child.
- Follow the most direct route to your appointment and leave the hospital immediately after your visit.
In the consultation and/or treatment room
Practitioners are temporarily not shaking hands to prevent the transmission of bacteria and viruses. All healthcare workers at Erasmus MC are fully trained in hand hygiene and are tested for the coronavirus if they display mild symptoms. In addition, the consultation and treatment rooms are cleaned more often than usual. To be able to give you the best possible care it is not always possible to keep a distance of 1.5 meters between you and your practitioner, but all our protective measures ensure that we keep the risk of transmission of the virus to a minimum.
What can I do to prevent spread or infection?
- Wear a mask in all public areas if you are 13 years or older. These are the entrances (Passage, Arcade, Square), the waiting areas and the lifts.
- Keep a distance of 1.5 meters from others. And step aside and wait for others to pass if necessary, for example, near the elevators.
- Do not shake hands.
- Wash your hands frequently with soap and water and touch your face as little as possible.
- Cough and/or sneeze into the inside of your elbow.
- Use disposable tissues.
- Contactless parking payment on entering or leaving parking garage.
I have flu-like symptoms. Should I come to the hospital?
Three days before your visit to the outpatient clinic you receive a text message with the request to complete the COVID-19 questionnaire by logging in on My Erasmus MC. If you or your child has symptoms that could indicate coronavirus, we can then discuss protective measures with you. Do not come to the hospital without contacting your practitioner first if you have a head cold, fever, cough, or shortness of breath.
If the person accompanying you has these symptoms, ask someone else to accompany you. If this is not possible, please contact your practitioner. This also applies to children and their parents/carers.
I would like to postpone my appointment. Is that possible?
We think it is important that you receive the treatment that you need. Your practitioner will determine what is best for your situation. If you have been asked to come to your appointment or for day-patient treatment, then it is important for your health that you come to the hospital. Do not unnecessarily postpone your treatment and do not delay seeking help if you have symptoms. Healthcare at Erasmus MC is safe. If you are uneasy, please call the relevant outpatient clinic or department. We are here to put you at ease and reassure you.
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.
Does Erasmus MC send patients a questionnaire about their health prior to their appointment?
We do not send patients a questionnaire about a possible coronavirus infection prior to their appointment. Three days before your visit to the outpatient clinic you receive a text message with the request to complete the COVID-19 questionnaire by logging in on My Erasmus MC. If you have symptoms that could indicate coronavirus, we will discuss protective measures with you. Also see: I have an appointment at Erasmus MC; should I come to the hospital?
Do all Erasmus MC patients need to be tested for the coronavirus?
This is currently not necessary.
Am I or is my child allowed visitors?
Some wards have different visiting guidelines. Additional information can be found under ‘Information for visitors and those accompanying patients’.
Do I have to wear a mask in the Erasmus MC?
If you are 13 years or older we strongly advise you to wear your own mask when you visit our hospital. The national advice to wear masks in public areas is also applicable in the Erasmus MC. Our public areas are the entrances (Passage, Arcade, Square), the waiting areas and the lifts. The advice to wear a mask is also valid in the shops and restaurants.
Who can I contact if I feel uneasy?
If you feel uneasy you may call the central exchange at 010 703 32 89. Have your patient number ready when you call.
What is the impact of the coronavirus for me / my child as a patient?
I am pregnant. Am I at greater risk?
I am immunocompromised/I have a weakened immune system. Am I more prone to contracting the novel coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2)?
How sick do children become with the coronavirus?
Please see the Dutch Association for Pediatrics’ point of view.The Dutch Association of Pediatrics has drawn up a document answering the main questions on children and the coronavirus.
My child has a chronic disease. Is he/she at greater risk?
Please see the Dutch Association for Pediatrics’ point of view.
Is it safe for my child to go to school?
Please see the website of the Dutch Association for Pediatrics.
How will the coronavirus affect me as a cancer patient?
In our online information meeting for cancer patients we provide you with more information on the impact of the coronavirus on the treatment of cancer.
Some specialisms, centers, and outpatient clinics have their own list of FAQs about the coronavirus.
Information for visitors / relatives
Visiting rulesDue to the increased number of COVID-19 infections, it has been decided to review our visiting rules again. As of Monday 5 October, the visiting rules will therefore be tightened.
- We strongly advise you to wear your own mask from 13 years and older when you visit Erasmus MC.
- When moving in areas that are accessible to patients, patients, visitors and employees are advised to wear a mask or safety screen. Once we are at 1.5 meters from each other, the mask or screen may be taken off.
- Visitors with COVID complaints: do not come to the Erasmus MC, even if these complaints are minimal.
- Your safety and that of our employees are the most important. Therefore, do the Corona question test before you come to the hospital.
- Keep 1.5 meters (5 feet) apart, also as much as possible as a visitor to an admitted patient.
Exceptions to the visiting rules are told to you by our staff members.
Separate visiting rules apply to Erasmus MC-Sophia (see below).
Escort for outpatient clinic:
- No more than one caregiver allowed per patient
Are you too early? Then please wait in the central room (Het Plein/the Square or Passage) where you enter the hospital.
For hospital visits:
- 11am - 9pm: No more than one visitor allowed per patient per day
- AD-building (multi-person rooms): no more than one visitor per patient from 11am till 9pm according to visit schedule
Intensice Care Unit (adults):
- 2x 1 hour a day: no more than 2 visitors per patient allowed
- Unit A/B: 11am-12pm & 6.45pm-7.45pm
- Unit C/D: 1pm-2pm & 7.30pm-8.30pm
The following rvisiting rules apply to the Intensive Coronary Care Unit (ICCU):
- 1x 1 hour a day: no more than 2 visitors per patiënt allowed
- Unit E/F: 11am-9pm
Visiting rules Sophia Children’s Hospital
Escort for outpatient clinic:
- No more than 1 caregiver allowed per patient
- If desired, the other parent can watch and listen via video calling
For hospital visits (hospitalization):
- Till 6pm only visits of both parents allowed
- 6pm-9pm (Monday to Friday) and in weekends: no more than 2 visitors allowed, including the parents
- In addition to these 2 visitors, a maximum of two brothers or sisters aged 12 or under are allowed to visit
- Siblings aged 13 or over are considered visitors
Pediatric ICU/Neonatal ICU:
- check the department’s visiting guidelines
Restaurants and shops
The shops at Erasmus MC have adjusted opening hours. Check our Facilities page for up-to-dated opening hours.
Restaurants: patients and visitors are only allowed to collect (Grab & go).
A loved one 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. n addition, several measures have been taken to ensure that care continues safely, see here Care continues safely.
Do I need to wear protective clothing?
We ask all visitors aged 13 and over to wear their own mask when moving within the Erasmus MC. Once we are at 1.5 meters, the mask may be taken off, except when you visit a loved one who has been tested positively on SARS-CoV-2. The clothing you wear and the accompanying instruction poster are available in the department.
You may only visit after consulting your loved one’s practitioner.
Information for patients carrying the coronavirus
What happens when I am admitted as a corona patient?
If you have been admitted to Erasmus MC and have tested positive for the coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2 virus), then you will be treated in isolation. This is necessary for your own safety and to prevent contamination of other patients, visitors, and healthcare practitioners. Here we are happy to explain what this means.
What are the long-term consequences of a coronavirus infection?
The clinical course of COVID-19 can vary from person to person. To date, we are still unsure as to the exact long-term or other effects of COVID-19 on the body.
How will I be supported in my recovery?
Depending on your symptoms and whether or not you were admitted to ICU, there are various recovery programs, such as a physiotherapy recovery program.
Have you experienced mental health problems such as tension, anxiety, low spirits, or concentration problems after your hospitalization? We are happy to give you a number of tips and recommendations on how to deal with these problems and where you can seek professional help.
Using your data for medical research in the fight against coronavirus
Physicians and researchers at Erasmus MC are working hard to gain a better understanding of coronavirus and COVID-19, the disease caused by the virus. In addition to our own research, we also work together with institutions and organizations outside the Netherlands and Europe.
For medical research on coronavirus and COVID-19, we need the (not directly traceable) medical data (including any radiological images such as X-rays and scans) and tissue samples (residual tissue) of patients with confirmed or suspected COVID-19. We store the medical data under a randomly selected code number. Names of patients, dates of birth, and patient numbers are not included in this data to protect patient privacy to the greatest degree possible. The data is confidential and stored securely for no longer than is necessary for this research.
Making an objection
You can always object to the use of your medical data and tissue samples for medical research on coronavirus and COVID-19. If you object, we will not use your data and tissue samples for research.
Additional information and the objection form can be found at ‘Residual Tissue for medical research’.
About the coronavirus
How does coronavirus spread?
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.
Bacteria and viruses (including the novel coronavirus) can also be transmitted via the hands. This is why our healthcare practitioners are temporarily not shaking patients’ hands. All healthcare workers at Erasmus MC are fully trained in hand hygiene to prevent the spread of bacteria and viruses.
I want to be tested for the coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) at Erasmus MC. Is that possible?
No, you cannot have yourself tested in the Erasmus MC. Since June 1st, anyone with complaints that match the coronavirus (cough, cold and/or fever) can be tested at the GGD at different remote test locations. People who are seriously ill are tested at home. For more information and/or making an appointment, visit the website of GGD Rotterdam-Rijnmond.
I have flu-like symptoms (head cold, fever, cough). Does this mean that I have the novel coronavirus?
Please see the RIVM website.
Erasmus MC researchers receive extensive media coverage on developments related to the novel coronavirus SARS-CoV-2. See our overview for a selection of published media articles (in Dutch). An overview of research publications can be found on pubmed.