What you need to know before your appointment
COVID-19 Update as of April 14, 2021
Updated Visitor Policy
Effective April 15, patients may bring one visitor to an appointment. Visitors must adhere to the same criteria as patients, including wearing an appropriate face covering, being fever and respiratory symptom-free, and being subjected to temperature and symptom screenings.
For the safety of our immunocompromised patients and our staff, visitors will not be allowed in radiation or chemotherapy treatment areas.
As of April 6, anyone in NYS 16 years of age and older is eligible to receive the vaccination. Recipients no longer have to show proof of a pre-existing condition to qualify. Our providers support the CDC’s recommendation that all patients should receive the vaccine since there are no known contraindications. If you are is pre- or post-allogeneic or autologous transplant, we advise you to speak to your provider before receiving the vaccine.
Patients and visitors must still abide by CDC guidelines even if fully vaccinated, which include mask-wearing, social distancing and symptom screenings.
Update NYS Travel Guidelines
New York State no longer requires travelers, regardless of vaccination status, to quarantine or test upon entering NYS.
Regardless of quarantine status, travelers must still:
- Continue daily symptom monitoring for 14 days
- Wear face coverings for 14 days even if fully vaccinated and around other vaccinated people
- Immediately self-isolate if any symptoms develop and contact your local health dept. or healthcare provider to report symptoms and determine if you should seek testing
COVID-19 Update as of March 15, 2021
Our COVID-19 vaccine hotline is no longer active. If you require documentation to prove vaccine eligibility, please call the NYOH location where you receive care to have documentation mailed to you or log into your My Care Plus Patient Portal Account to print documentation confirming eligibility.
COVID-19 Update as of March 2, 2021
Mammograms and the COVID-19 Vaccine
Routine cancer screenings during the pandemic have been delayed and missed. The physicians at NYOH want to stress how important regular cancer screenings are in the early diagnosis and cure of cancer.
In some individuals, the COVID-19 vaccinations have been reported to cause localized lymph node swelling that may appear abnormal or uncertain on imaging studies.
As a result, when it does not delay care, it is recommended to schedule routine mammograms prior to your first COVID-19 vaccination or waiting 4-6 weeks after vaccine completion to minimize the chance of false abnormal screening mammography and ultrasound readings.
For patients who are scheduled for a mammogram ordered as a result of a suspicious lump or change in breast, you should not delay your mammogram regardless of your vaccine status. While there is a small chance the test could produce abnormal or uncertain results, the benefit outweighs the risk. Time is crucial in effectively treating cancer therefore waiting 4-6 weeks is not recommended.
As always, if you have questions, please feel free to consult with your primary care physician or specialist.
COVID-19 Update as of February 16, 2021
Today, CBS6 News incorrectly used exterior footage of NYOH's Patroon Creek location in its breaking news segment at noon regarding the Albany Medical Center Coronavirus outbreak and recently issued NYS DOH directive barring new patient admittances. NYOH is a physician-owned medical practice that is independent of Albany Med and is not part of the outbreak, nor has NYS DOH put any restrictions on our ability to care for patients. We can assure you that our practices are safe for patients, and we follow strict protocols to ensure our patients' safety.
COVID-19 Update as of February 12, 2021
Beginning February 15, the NYS Department of Health will expand its vaccine qualification criteria to include adults of any age with comorbidities. The list of conditions include:
Cancer (current or in remission, including 9/11-related cancers)
- Immunocompromised state (weakened immune system) including but not limited to solid organ transplant or from blood or bone marrow transplant, immune deficiencies, HIV, use of corticosteroids, use of other immune weakening medicines, or other causes
Visit NYS DOH to view the full list of qualifying comorbidities.
If you have one of the qualifying commodities, to receive the vaccine you must do one of the following:
- Provide a doctor’s letter or medical information that is evidence you have the qualifying condition
- Sign an attestation/certification determined by local government when the vaccine is received
NYOH patients may obtain a medical note by logging into our patient portal.
Check your eligibility and find vaccine locations by visiting covid19vaccine.health.ny.gov.
COVID-19 Update as of January 13, 2021
Should patients with cancer receive the COVID-19 vaccine?
Our physicians state there are no contraindications in our patients but recognize that those on treatments that suppress the immune system may not have as full of a response to the vaccination. You should not receive the COVID-19 vaccine if you are allergic to any ingredients in the vaccine. There may be some increased incidence of allergic or anaphylactoid reactions as large numbers of people are vaccinated outside of clinical trials. If you are not on an active treatment, we also encourage you to reach out directly to your primary care provider. You may find up-to-date resources on vaccination sites and information on the NYOH website, by visiting CapitalRegionVax.org or calling your local Department of Health. Unfortunately, at this time, NYOH does not have the vaccine to administer to patients.
*IF YOU ARE A PATIENT THAT IS PRE OR POST ALLOGENEIC OR AUTOLOGOUS TRANSPLANT WE WILL SPEAK WITH THE PROVIDER DIRECTLY AND RETURN YOUR CALL*
- NYOH is not a COVID vaccine site and is NOT offering the COVID vaccine at this time. Please follow up with your primary care provider or your local department of health for more information.
- For patients who have received the COVID-19 vaccine, masks and social distancing are still in effect as well as our patients-only appointment policy.
- Learn more about the Capital Region vaccine initiative including who is eligible, vaccine locations, and the science behind the vaccine at CapitalRegionVax.org.
We continue to follow Governor Cuomo's directives and guidance as well as the NYS DOH and CDC guidelines to help curb the spread of COVID-19 within the state. As an essential business per the NYS executive order, this will not affect our ability to provide vital health care services to our patients. We want to continue to do so safely and protect our patients' and staff's health and safety.
As a reminder, appointments are limited to the patient only. Family and caregivers must remain outside the NYOH building. We will strictly adhere to this policy indefinitely to ensure our patients' and staff's health and safety. Once dropped off at your appointment, we ask that caregivers wait outside the building or in their car.
We understand that this is a difficult and emotional period for our patients receiving cancer care; therefore, we have a couple of options to allow family members and caregivers to participate in their loved one's appointment virtually:
- Via telemedicine appointment with a virtual visit when appropriate
- Through a personal mobile device via video chat or audio
- With an NYOH communication device (at select locations)
To continue to protect our patients and staff, everyone must properly wear a mask while inside any NYOH practice. Mask must fully cover nose, mouth, and chin and fit snuggly against the face. If you do not have a mask, we will provide you with one.
If you are experiencing any symptoms of COVID-19 including but not limited to fever, cough, or difficulty breathing; if you are under precautionary or mandatory quarantine or isolation; or if you have recently traveled outside of NYS, excluding states bordering NY (NYS Travel Advisory), please call prior to your appointment. A nurse will contact you to determine the next steps in your care.
Our patients' health and safety are always at the forefront, and we appreciate your patience and cooperation as we all navigate dealing with the pandemic and do our part to help stop the spread.
Important Parking Information for Patroon Creek & Albany Medical Center Patients
NYOH has made several office changes as a result of COVID-19 and the completion of office renovations. Please use the map for specific parking and entrance information.
Patroon Creek: NYOH is pleased to announce our renovated Patroon Creek office is now open for all patient appointments. Patients who are normally seen in our Patroon Creek office should return to parking in the lower lot, in the back of the building and use the office’s main entrance.
Albany Medical Center: Patients from our Albany Medical Center office will continue to be seen at our Patroon Creek location and will *not* change locations. Check in for all appointments will be in Suite 210. Patients should park in the upper lot, using the upper entrance for all appointments.
Radiation: All Patroon Creek radiation, PET and CT imaging patients will continue to park in the lower lot and use the separate radiation entrance for those appointments.
Troy: In addition, the Troy location at 258 Hoosick Street has also re-opened.
Virtual Cancer Support Group
Due to COVID-19, NYOH's Cancer Support Group has moved online - and you're invited. Frances Ford, LCSW, leads free, bi-weekly sessions on Wednesdays, from 3:00pm - 4:00pm.
Open to both newly diagnosed and those managing cancer for some time, patients can attend whenever they wish. Together, the group will explore:
- Facing challenging emotions and addressing fears and worries
- Coping strategies for hopefulness, emotional and spiritual well-being
- Connections with other patients facing similar struggles
Because the group is limited to 15 people per session, please call Francis to register: 518-489-3612 x 1342. You'll receive an email to access the Zoom meeting.
COVID-19 and Our Commitment to Care
To our NYOH patients,
As we navigate the unprecedented public health challenges of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, we want you to know that New York Oncology Hematology is closely following developments and taking all necessary precautions to protect the health and safety of our patients and staff.
Our COVID-19 task force continues to monitor, evaluate and update our response. Guided by directives from the New York State Department of Health and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), we are also listening to our team and you -- our patients -- to make sure we are doing everything we can to meet your needs.
Because the situation continues to evolve, you may notice changes at our offices in the coming days and weeks. We ask for your patience -- these steps are being taken to fulfill our promise of providing you with the best possible care.
We know you will continue to have questions about how coronavirus may impact your treatment or visits to our locations. We will be posting the most up to date information here on our website. For urgent matters, please call your NYOH office to speak directly with your care team.
Our patients remain our top priority. At every NYOH location, our team is working hard, taking all possible steps to ensure the health and safety of you, your caregivers, our physicians, staff, and communities.
Thank you for trusting NYOH with your care.
Ira Zackon, MD
New York Oncology Hematology
Rufus Collea, MD
New York Oncology Hematology
FAQ For Cancer Patients
New York Oncology Hematology now offers telemedicine appointments, allowing new and existing patients to consult with our team of doctors via secure virtual visits – from the comfort and safety of home.
How to Protect Yourself
Patients with compromised immune systems, including many cancer patients, are more susceptible to viruses, including COVID-19. Some cancer therapies, such as targeted drugs, steroids, as well as some cancer types, like blood cancers, can result in a weakened immune system.
- Wash your hands thoroughly for at least 20 seconds and frequently. If soap and water are unavailable, use alcohol-based hand rub.
- Cover coughs and sneezes with a tissue. Throw tissues in the trash.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
- Avoid close contact with sick people.
- Stay home if you are not well.
- Avoid large crowds while receiving therapy.
- Disinfect frequently touched surfaces with household cleaning spray or wipe.
Thank you to our patients & community for your support