Area hospitals enforce new visitor guidelines

By WEEK Reporter

Area hospitals enforce new visitor guidelines

January 11, 2013 Updated Jan 14, 2013 at 11:04 AM CDT

PEORIA, Ill. -- To protect patients, family and staff during the heightened outbreak of the flu, Methodist Medical Center, OSF Saint Francis Medical Center, Pekin Hospital and Proctor Hospital are asking all visitors to follow enhanced visitor guidelines, effective immediately.

These guidelines are based on recommendations from the Illinois Department of Public Health. While the guidelines are currently voluntary, all area hospitals will begin enforcing them throughout their facilities, beginning Monday, January 14, 2013.

These guidelines will remain in effect while reported flu cases and flu-like symptoms continue to be high. These visitor guidelines may be changed as necessary to reflect changing community health concerns. During this time:

• Visitors need to be at least 18 years of age and older, per the recommendation of the Illinois Department of Public Health.

• No more than two visitors will be allowed at one time

• Exceptions may be made for cases involving critically ill patients or end-of -life situations.

• Hospital staff may request visitors to wear a mask or leave the patient care area if they are observed coughing or sneezing.

• Please do not visit hospitalized patients if you have had flu-like symptoms during the past seven days. Those systems, according to the Center for Disease Control (CDC) include fever 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.

To find a location that may offer the flu vaccine near you, visit www.flu.gov.

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