Area Health Systems Limit Visitation to Avoid Spread of Respiratory Viruses
Issue reminder about prevention and vaccination ahead of holiday season
Out of concern for the health and wellbeing of the community, and due to the widespread prevalence of respiratory viruses such as RSV and flu among young children, several North Carolina health systems ask that children 12 and under not visit patients who are hospitalized.
These restrictions are effective Wednesday, Nov. 16, at 7 a.m., and apply to hospitals in North Carolina that are part of the following health systems:
- Atrium Health
- Atrium Health Wake Forest Baptist
- CaroMont Health
- Cone Health
- Novant Health
- Randolph Health
Masks are still required for visitors. Individuals aged 13 years and over who are experiencing flu-like symptoms such as runny nose, sore throat, fever or cough should not visit patients being treated at area hospitals. However, people who are seeking treatment at hospitals are not subject to the restriction. Children may be permitted to visit hospitalized patients under special circumstances, such as visiting a dying family member. In these instances, parents should work with their care team to make arrangements.
Area health systems also remind the community to continue taking measures that are known to limit the spread of respiratory viruses. Health officials strongly encourage people to stay home when sick, maintain good respiratory etiquette such as hand washing and covering the nose and mouth when sneezing or coughing, and most importantly, get vaccinated against flu and COVID-19 – including the latest COVID-19 fall boosters – to best protect against illness heading into the holiday season.
In addition to protecting against infection, both the flu and COVID-19 vaccines can protect against the downstream effects of those infections such as heart attack and stroke. People who are at high-risk for complications – particularly those with diabetes, high blood pressure or heart and lung problems – are more likely to experience a heart attack or stroke in the weeks following a flu or COVID-19 infection.
As always, patients are asked to only visit the emergency department if they are experiencing a serious or life-threatening illness or injury. Those who need medical attention for more routine cough, fever, fatigue and other flu-like symptoms should contact their primary care provider. Other options include urgent care centers and virtual visits that are offered by each of the health systems.
It is important to note that some hospitals and health systems may have additional restrictions on visitors in certain areas. For example, Atrium Health Wake Forest Baptist Brenner Children’s Hospital does not permit visitors under the age of 18, except in special situations.
Visit NovantHealth.org/VisitorRestrictions for more information.