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Novant Health Lifts Flu-related Visitor Restrictions

Winston-Salem, N.C., February 4, 2015 – Beginning 8 a.m. tomorrow, Thursday, February 5, all Novant Health facilities have lifted the visitor restrictions that were put in place on January 2. During the height of this flu season, Novant Health asked the community to keep visitors younger than 18 years old out of all its hospital facilities. As a result of the declining number of flu cases seen over the past few weeks, these restrictions have been lifted. The decision has been made in collaboration with other large health systems.

Individuals exhibiting flu symptoms still should not visit patients. Those symptoms include fever, cough and/or sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, headaches and/or body aches, chills, fatigue, nausea, vomiting, and/or diarrhea. However, people who are seeking treatment at hospitals are not subject to the restriction.

“We appreciate the continued support and flexibility of our patients, their families and the community,” said Tom Zweng, MD, chief medical officer for Novant Health. “The visitor restrictions were necessary to protect our most vulnerable hospitalized patients, but now as we see the number of influenza cases continue to decline we are happy to invite the community back into our facilities.”

The restrictions have been lifted at all hospitals throughout the Novant Health system, including Novant Health Brunswick Medical Center, Novant Health Charlotte Orthopedic Hospital, Novant Health Clemmons Medical Center, Novant Health Forsyth Medical Center, Novant Health Haymarket Medical Center, Novant Health Hemby Children’s Hospital, Novant Health Huntersville Medical Center, Novant Health Kernersville Medical Center, Novant Health Matthews Medical Center, Novant Health Medical Park Hospital, Novant Health Presbyterian Medical Center, Novant Health Prince William Medical Center, Novant Health Rowan Medical Center and Novant Health Thomasville Medical Center.

All visitors to Novant Health hospitals 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.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention provides regularly updated information on flu activity at this Web address: cdc.gov/flu/weekly/fluactivitysurv.htm.

Posted on Thursday, February 5, 2015