Te Mate Pukupuku me te Mate Korona

Cancer during COVID-19

Find out more about cancer treatment across the different COVID-19 Alert Levels.

We understand you and your whānau may feel unsettled as we move between different Alert Levels to manage the COVID-19 pandemic in New Zealand.

It is OK to be worried, but please know that cancer centres around the country are prepared to continue delivering essential cancer services at all alert levels. These are explained further here:

At Alert Level 1

  • outpatient appointments may be in person or could still be virtual (e.g., phone conversation or video call); you will be contacted by your cancer centre with the details
  • if you have a scan, or treatment, scheduled, please attend this as normal
  • if you have concerns about travelling or coming to the hospital because of your health, please contact your cancer centre before your appointment or treatment
  • if you are unwell, please phone your cancer centre to let them know.

At Alert Level 2

At Level 2, cancer centres must follow the physical distancing guidelines which may impact how treatment is delivered. It is extremely important that we protect people living with cancer from the risk of catching COVID-19. You will notice:

  • physical distancing guidelines will be in place
  • outpatient appointments may be in person or virtual (eg, phone conversation or video call), you will be contacted by your cancer centre with the details
  • if you have treatment or a scan scheduled, please attend this as normal (unless you have been contacted by your cancer centre with alternative arrangements)
  • if you have concerns about travelling or coming to hospital because of your health, please contact your cancer centre before your appointment or treatment
  • if you are unwell, please phone your cancer centre to let them know.

It is still safe to come to the hospital. If you are sick the hospital is still the safest place to be.

At Alert Level 3

At Level 3, cancer centres must follow the physical distancing guidelines which may impact how treatment is delivered. It is extremely important that we protect people living with cancer from the risk of catching COVID-19. You will notice:

  • hospitals will be looking to run outpatient appointments virtually where possible (eg, phone conversation or video call). You will be contacted by your cancer centre with the details
  • if you have treatment or a scan scheduled, please attend this as normal
  • if you have concerns about travelling or coming to hospital because of your health, please contact your cancer centre before your appointment or treatment
  • if you are unwell, please phone your cancer centre to let them know
  • if you are unwell with COVID-19 symptoms, please contact your doctor to discuss being tested for COVID-19.

It is safe to come to the hospital. If you are sick the hospital is still the safest place to be.

General COVID-19 information

The best source of accurate and up-to-date information about COVID-19 is available on the Ministry of Health website.

These uncertain times can affect your mental wellbeing. It’s important to remember that if you aren’t feeling good, there are many different types of help available. Information and tools are available at Mental health and wellbeing resources.

People with reduced immunity, including some people living with cancer and those undergoing chemotherapy, are at a higher risk from COVID-19. Information on who is considered at risk and what can be done to manage that risk can be found at Advice for higher risk people.

There are some simple steps to protect against COVID-19.

  • keep your distance from other people in public
  • wash your hands regularly.
  • sneeze and cough into your elbow
  • keep a track of where you have been and who you have seen
  • if you are sick stay at home and call your cancer centre
  • if you are sick with COVID-19 symptoms ring your doctor or Healthline.

We are working with clinicians, cancer centres, DHBs and our advisory groups to address the issues COVID-19 is creating for people living with cancer.