An increase in flu cases has prompted Carle Foundation Hospital and Carle Hoopeston Regional Health Center to place temporary restrictions on visitors. Carle is limiting the maximum number of visitors in a patient’s room to two people at a time.
‘’The safety of our patients, visitors and staff is always our top priority,’’ says Susan Ruwe, RN, MSN, senior infection prevention at Carle. She says the temporary change will make it less likely for patients, staff and visitors to catch or spread the flu. The new restrictions will be lifted when the flu threat diminishes.
Carle has adopted the following Illinois Department of Public Health recommendations to help protect patients and visitors from exposure to the flu:
- Those under 18 should not visit the hospital.
- Only two visitors at a time should be in a patient’s room.
- Visitors who have a respiratory illness should not visit the hospital, or they should wear a mask if they do visit.
- If a patient is in isolation because of the flu, visitors are limited to those vital to the patient’s emotional well-being and care.
- Visitors should cough or sneeze into tissues and throw away the tissues immediately.
- Visitors should wash hands with soap and water or hand sanitizer after blowing their nose or sneezing.
There are additional guidelines for areas with women or children.
‘’We understand the excitement that families have in welcoming a new baby or concern when kiddos are in the hospital, but limiting visitors helps keep women, children and babies healthy,’’ said Chantel Ellis, MSN, Women’s and Children’s Services Director.
Carle is also encouraging members of the public to get a flu vaccination if they have not done so. Even at this late date, a vaccination will help protect patients from the flu virus.