Dear LACNETS Family,
Given the recent concerns surrounding the Coronavirus (COVID-19), we want to assure you that your health and safety are our utmost concern. You may have heard that several mass gatherings have been canceled including ENETS, the European NET Society medical conference that Dr. Dan Li and Lisa Yen were planning to attend to present NETVITALS research. You may have also heard that the 2020 Bay Area Neuroendocrine Patient Conference has been canceled.
Today, we are sad to announce that the upcoming monthly meeting this Saturday, March 7th at City of Hope has been canceled.
City of Hope has decided, out of extreme precautions, to limit exposure of all staff and personnel. This is by far more than what is traditionally recommended and done purely out of caution. To be very clear, there are NO cases of coronavirus at any of our Los Angeles NET Centers. We have decided not to take any unnecessary health risks with respect to our participants, speakers, and the patients of all healthcare workers. The goal is to ensure that patient care continues to flow without interruption.
We hope that the situation continues to improve moving forward so that we can return to our regular meeting schedule as quickly as possible. In the meantime, we encourage you to watch videos of past meetings on our LACNETS YouTube Channel and network via our social media channels — Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
How LACNETS is responding to the Coronavirus:
We will continually check with the CDC and follow current CDC recommendations.
We will keep you update you with any changes in our meeting schedule.
As always, we encourage people to stay home and join us via livestream if anyone has signs of illness including fever, cough, cold or flu symptoms.
We will have hand sanitizer, anti-bacterial wipes, and tissues available at meetings.
We do not encourage the use or purchase of masks, as those must be reserved for healthcare workers.
We encourage patients to have a 30-day supply of medications on hand.
We choose to avoid panicking and isolating. We encourage everyone to be aware that fear about a disease can lead to racism and stigma when people associate the disease with a population or nationality, even though there is no evidence that the population is specifically at risk for the disease. We encourage practicing necessary precautions and trying to remain calm rather than resort to negative thoughts or actions. (Read our previous blogpost “Breathe.”)
We encourage you to familiarize yourself with the current CDC recommendations.
At this time, there are no additional recommendations specific for NET patients or cancer patients in general outside of the standard recommendations for coronavirus.
Sometime next week, NorCal Carcinet will livestream a Q&A on Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube. They will also release a NET FAQs based on questions. More information can be found here.
How can I help protect myself?
You can help protect yourself from respiratory illnesses with these everyday preventive actions:
Avoid close contact with people who are sick. (Keep a distance of approximately 6 feet.)
Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds (about as long as it takes to sing the “Happy Birthday” song twice). Get in the practice of washing your hands immediately after walking into the door.
Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol if soap and water are not available to wash your hands.
Substitute hand-waves and elbow bumps for hugs and handshakes.
If you are sick, to keep from spreading respiratory illness to others, you should:
Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash. If you don’t have a tissue on hand, cough or sneeze into your elbow.
Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces such as your phone, doorknob, and steering wheel.
Dr. Dan Li, Co-Director of the NET Program at City of Hope