Area hospitals implement visitor restrictions due to flu

Posted

OSF Saint Paul Medical Center requesting public to limit visits

AMBOY – To protect patients, family members and staff during this time of increased seasonal flu activity and other upper respiratory illnesses, OSF HealthCare Saint Paul Medical Center is asking the public to limit visits as a precautionary measure.

These guidelines are based on recommendations from the Illinois Department of Public Health.

Effective Friday, Dec. 29, it is requested that:

  • Visitors should be at least 18 years of age and older. This will minimize exposure of patients to children, who are known to be high risk for transmission of viral infections, and will protect children from contracting an illness while visiting the hospital.
  • Please do not visit hospitalized patients if you are not feeling well, particularly if you have had flu-like symptoms during the past seven days. Symptoms include a fever of 100 degrees Fahrenheit or higher, cough, and/or sore throat.
  • Remember to cough and/or sneeze into your arm or shoulder or use a tissue. The spread of germs can be reduced by coughing into your clothing. Avoid covering your mouth with your hands, as the germs can easily be passed through direct contact with surfaces or people.

To assist in limiting the spread of disease, please wash your hands with soap and water or use an alcohol-based hand foam/gel when entering and leaving a patient’s room.

For tips on staying healthy during flu season, visit http://www.cdc.gov/flu/protect/habits.htm.

Temporary visitor's restrictions now in place at CGH

You may have noticed that more people in the community are coming down with the flu this year. In just the past several weeks, there has been a rise in the number of patients visiting the CGH Medical Center Emergency Department and our outpatient clinics due to this illness.

The flu is easily and most often spread as a result of coughs or sneezes. Believe it or not, a sneeze from one person with the flu can spread up to 20,000 flu germs into the air.

At CGH Medical Center, the safety and well-being of our patients, visitors and staff is our highest priority. That is why we’ve taken several important steps to help prevent the spread of influenza in our hospital and clinics, and to ensure everyone’s safety during what is proving to be a very busy influenza season. While we realize these temporary steps may result in some inconvenience to family members and other visitors, we appreciate your understanding and support.

The steps put in place include the following:

  • Please limit visitors to two adults per patient at any time. Limiting the number of visitors per patient will help control the spread of the illness.
  • Please do not bring your children on hospital visits. Since children are more likely to get sick and spread influenza, our staff will only allow children under the age of 18 to visit in special cases with prior approval from the patients’ healthcare team
  • Please wash your hands frequently. Please make sure you clean your hands when entering and leaving the patients room by washing with soap and water or rubbing your hands together with hand sanitizer which is located in every patient room.
  • Please do not visit the hospital if you have symptoms of the flu. Signs of the flu include fever, cough, sneezing, runny nose or sore throat.
  • If you haven’t already, get the flu vaccine. Getting the simple shot can help increase your chances of staying healthy and avoid getting others sick.
  • Patients coming to the CGH ED or outpatient clinics with influenza symptoms will be asked to wear a mask.