With limited exceptions, MD Anderson closing to visitors amid heightened coronavirus concerns

MD Anderson Cancer Center
MD Anderson Cancer Center is further restricting its visitor policy, as patients undergoing treatment can be highly vulnerable to the coronavirus. (Matt Dulin/Community Impact Newspaper)

MD Anderson Cancer Center is further restricting its visitor policy, as patients undergoing treatment can be highly vulnerable to the coronavirus. (Matt Dulin/Community Impact Newspaper)

In an effort to shelter its patients and staff from the coronavirus, the MD Anderson Cancer Center will no longer allow visitors on its campuses, effective March 24, with limited exceptions.

“By limiting visitors until further notice, we will protect our patients, who are uniquely vulnerable to COVID-19,” the cancer center wrote in a post on its Facebook page on March 22. “We will also protect our staff to ensure their sustained health and availability to care for patients.”

The measure is temporary, the cancer center wrote in the post.

Meanwhile, additional employees will be on-site to assist patients with traveling between appointments, and patients are encouraged to bring smart devices to connect during their appointments with family members.

However, exceptions will be made in allowing one adult visitor who has no symptoms of fever, cough or shortness of breath.


These exceptions include:

  • pediatric patients who require one adult parent or guardian;

  • same-day surgery or outpatient surgery patients who need one adult to hear discharge instructions and provide a safe ride home; and

  • patients who need a visitor for assistance due to physical or mental limitations or patients receiving end-of-life care.

By Hunter Marrow
Hunter Marrow came to Community Impact Newspaper in January 2019. Before that, Hunter covered local news in Ontario, OR for three years, covering municipal issues, crime, and education across Malheur County and across the border into Idaho.


MOST RECENT

Baylor College of Medicine and the Gulf Coast Regional Blood Center are partnering in a transfusion study designed to treat COVID-19 using blood plasma from recovered COVID-19 patients. Courtesy Pexels
Baylor College of Medicine, Gulf Coast Regional Blood Center, other hospitals join focus on transfusion study

The process involves taking the blood plasma from recovered COVID-19 patients and giving it to those fighting the disease.

Houston City Council could soon consider an ordinance to require all hotel and motel operators to adopt human trafficking prevention training for all of their employees. (Courtesy Pexels)
Proposed Houston ordinance would require anti-human trafficking training for all hotel workers

If adopted, Houston would be only the second city in the nation to adopt such a requirement.

All city of Houston parks are closed through Easter weekend to curb the spread of coronavirus. (Courtesy Visit Houston)
Following Harris County, all city of Houston parks closed for Easter weekend, April 9-13

Mayor Turner said the decision was spurred by the fact the city of Houston reported 615 new positive coronavirus cases April 9, the highest jump to date.

As new resources become available for small business owners, there is hope for some small business owners. (Courtesy Pexels)
Small business owners: How are you getting through this? Have you applied for loans? Considering furloughs? We want to hear from you

Community Impact Newspaper is checking in with businesses to learn about their experience requesting and receiving aid, as well as other ways they are handling the economic fallout of the coronavirus outbreak.

The Harris County Homeless Outreach Team is providing homeless individuals with hand sanitizer, face masks and information sheets on the coronavirus. (Courtesy Harris County Sheriff's Office)
Harris County's Homeless Outreach Team spreads coronavirus awareness, distributes essential supplies to vulnerable populations

On the frontlines of one of the county’s most vulnerable populations, the Harris County Sheriff’s Office’s Homeless Outreach Team is spreading awareness and providing essential supplies to homeless populations amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

Affordable Counseling Collaborative Associates offers various kinds of therapy, including family and child therapy. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
Houston-based Affordable Counseling Collaborative Associates offers online counseling during coronavirus outbreak

“We don’t come at them like, ‘We’re gonna tell you how to live your life,’” therapist Tracy Morris said. “It’s far more about helping them find the strength even when they feel like they don’t have any.”

Those anxiously awaiting the end of stay-at-home orders have another thing to look forward to: progress on several transportation projects around Clear Lake and League City. (Courtesy Fotolia)
ROUNDUP: South Houston communities continue coronavirus response

Here is what South Houston readers should know about how the coronavirus outbreak is affecting the area.

Second Servings
Bellaire nonprofit Second Servings partners with Hess Corp., Sysco to provide food for hospitality workers

Beginning April 9, Seconds Servings will start distributing 10,000 meals total as part of the program.

The Houston Museum of Natural Science announced April 9 it will furlough 337 staff members. (Courtesy Visit Houston)
Houston Museum of Natural Science furloughs 70% of staff

Facing declining revenue and extended closures amid the coronavirus outbreak, the Houston Museum of Natural Science has furloughed 337 staff members and reduced pay for all remaining staff effective April 9.

The Texas Workforce Commission's phone and online systems have been overwhelmed as measures to slow the spread of the coronavirus continue to have a crippling effect on the economy. (Jack Flagler/Community Impact Newspaper)
More Texans have filed for unemployment in past three weeks than in all of 2019

For the second week in a row, more than 6 million Americans filed for unemployment benefits, according to federal data.

Hospitals in the Greater Houston area are adapting to accommodate a surge of coronavirus cases. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
Report offers first glimpse at hospital readiness across Houston area

Hospitals within the Texas Medical Center system in the Greater Houston area have plans in place to increase the number of ICU beds available by as much as 80%.

City of Bellaire will close its parks from April 10 to April 13 to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 during the holiday weekend. (Alex Hosey/Community Impact Newspaper)
Bellaire to close parks through weekend, beginning April 10

The city of Bellaire will close its parks from April 10 through April 13 in an effort to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 during the holiday weekend, the city announced in a news release.