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Winston-Salem, N.C., Feb. 23, 2017 – Out of concern for the health and well-being of our patients, Novant Health is asking the community to keep visitors age 12 and under out of all of its hospital facilities due to the widespread outbreak of the flu virus throughout the community. This restriction is effective on Friday, Feb. 24 at 7 a.m. until further notice.
Those individuals age 13 and over who are experiencing runny nose, sore throat, fever or cough are also encouraged not to visit patients being treated at Novant Health facilities. However, people who are seeking treatment at hospitals are not subject to the restriction.
“The flu virus can be extremely dangerous to people who have compromised immune systems, cancer, kidney disease and other chronic conditions,” advises Dr. David Priest, medical director for infection prevention at Novant Health. “In order to protect our patients, we are asking members of the public who are 12 years and under or who may be sick with the influenza virus to not visit these facilities at this time.”
The restrictions apply to all hospitals throughout the Novant Health system, including:
All visitors to any of these facilities should properly disinfect their hands by washing with soap and water or using sanitizing gel when entering and leaving the facilities in order to prevent the spread of the flu virus.
Children may be allowed access to hospital areas in the event of special circumstances such as visiting a dying family member. In these instances, parents should work with their nurse to make arrangements.
The restrictions were a joint decision among regional hospitals including Novant Health, Carolinas HealthCare System, Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center and Cone Health. These healthcare systems will continue to evaluate the need for visitation restrictions on a weekly basis or more often as needed.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention provides regularly updated information on flu activity at this Web address: cdc.gov/flu/weekly/fluactivitysurv.htm.