Novant Health lifts hospital visitor restrictions for those under the age of 13

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. – Beginning March 21 at 7 a.m., all Novant Health hospitals will lift visitor restrictions that were put in place on Dec. 19, 2023 for those under the age of 13.

“In recent weeks, we have seen a consistent decline in the number and severity of respiratory illnesses in our facilities and communities,” said Dr. David Priest, senior vice president, and chief safety and quality officer, Novant Health. “We appreciate the community’s cooperation and support to protect our patients and we are happy to welcome back visitors of all ages into our hospitals.”

Anyone experiencing respiratory virus symptoms should not visit patients in the hospital. Symptoms include fever, headaches/body aches/pain, cough, sore throat, stuffy or runny nose, chills, fatigue, nausea, vomiting and diarrhea. However, people who are seeking treatment at hospitals are not subject to the restriction.

Masks remain optional for visitors to Novant Health hospitals; however, everyone should carefully evaluate their personal risk when considering masking. Patients may request their care teams wear masks during treatment and clinic visits, and masks will be required when respiratory virus symptoms are present and in treatment areas for high-risk patients, including those in isolation.

To reduce the risk of contracting a respiratory illness, health care systems recommend frequent handwashing with soap or using an alcohol-based hand sanitizer; not touching eyes, nose or mouth with the hands; and getting an annual flu vaccine, COVID-19 vaccine and/or recommended boosters as well as an RSV vaccine when indicated. 

As the threat from respiratory viruses, including COVID-19, flu and RSV, evolves, Novant Health will routinely assess risks to patients, visitors and team members. Should additional protection be needed, Novant Health may implement updated safety guidelines, including updating visitor restrictions.

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