The coronavirus: frequently asked questions
Here you can find information on our measures against the coronavirus, as well as what we expect of you when you visit our hospital, because even now we continue to provide patient care.
We keep providing healthcare
Patient care is continuing safely
All healthcare treatment that cannot be postponed will continue to be provided at Erasmus MC with all necessary precautions. Furthermore, we are gradually resuming routine elective healthcare treatments.
Click here 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:
- 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?
- 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 (the Plein 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?
- 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?
We always call all patients prior to their appointment. 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. However, we do contact all patients prior to their planned appointment or hospital admission. 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’.
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.
Some specialisms, centers, and outpatient clinics have their own list of FAQs about the coronavirus.
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
One visitor, parent, or carer may be present in the hospital per patient per day. This applies to accompanying a patient to outpatient appointments as well as to visiting patients that have been admitted to hospital. This means only one visitor during the visiting hours; visitors cannot wait until another visitor has left.
If you have a head cold, a cough, a fever, or have recently become short of breath, do not to come to Erasmus MC.
Different visiting guidelines
The following wards have different visiting guidelines:
12th floor - Ne, Nf, Ng, RG
One visitor per patient per day.
- Daily visiting time is between 12noon and 1pm.
- Visitors can use the specially reserved elevators in the Ng elevator lobby, where you will be welcomed by one of our staff members. You must inform the staff who you are visiting.
- Supervised cloakrooms are available at the entrance to the wards for your coats and bags. No coats or bags are permitted inside the patient rooms.
- In a shared room: one visitor per patient per day. A visiting roster has been drawn up for the shared rooms in building AD. You must consult the nursing staff before visiting.
- One visitor per patient per day, after due consultation with staff and provided that it is medically appropriate.
Adult intensive care unit (ICU)
- One visitor per patient per day. A visiting roster has been drawn up for the ICU:
- Unit A + B: daily visiting time is between 1pm and 2pm and between 7pm and 8pm.
- Unit C + D: daily visiting time is between 11pm and 12 pm and between 7.30pm and 8.30pm.
In this short video, we are happy to show you how we nurse your loved one and what you yourself can do during this difficult period.
Erasmus MC Sophia Children’s Hospital
- Medium care units (south 1, south 2, north 1, day-patient treatment, and the Pediatric Thorax Center (north 2 and south 2)).
- Pediatric intensive care unit
- Neonatal Intensive Care Unit
No more than two visitors/parents may visit your child per day, but they may not visit together. Only one person per child may be present in the hospital per visit, for instance, one parent in the afternoon and the other parent in the evening.
Restaurants and shops
The restaurants and shops at Erasmus MC have adjusted opening hours.
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. There is currently no indication that they contracted the virus in the hospital. Where necessary, staff members check themselves regularly for fever and other symptoms.
Do I need to wear protective clothing?
In principle, you do not need to wear protective clothing, except when visiting a loved one who has been tested positive for SARS-CoV-2. The clothing and 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.
As a patient, how do I consent to medical research on the coronavirus? And how can I object?
We conduct medical research on the coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) at Erasmus MC. This includes, for instance, research on an effective drug and vaccine to suppress the current outbreak and to prevent future outbreaks. In addition, we are studying the behavior of the virus itself.
To conduct this research we need residual tissue (e.g. body tissue or blood) and/or medical data of COVID-19 patients, which can or cannot be traced back to the patient. Where possible, we ask patients for their written consent to use their data. Unfortunately, this is not always possible for admitted COVID-19 patients as it is sometimes difficult to communicate with these patients or because they move to other wards during their hospitalization.
As you can imagine, medical research on SARS-CoV-2 is of great social importance, which is why medical research without the patient’s consent is allowed under these circumstances.
Making an objection
You can always object to the use of your medical data or body tissue, whether or not it can be traced back to you, even afterwards. As soon as we have received and processed your objection, we will not start any new medical research using your tissue and/or data. From that moment on, your objection will also apply to all other medical research at Erasmus MC.
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 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.
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 newsletter for a selection of published articles.
You can find background articles on healthcare and the coronavirus at Amazing Erasmus MC.