March 15, 2011
Respiratory illnesses remain highly prevalent in the Tristate as the flu season continues, and as a result many area hospitals will continue to limit visitation through the month of March.
The goal of limited visitation is to minimize the spread of respiratory illnesses and the flu to hospital patients. For the hospitals that are limiting visitors, most are initiating the following restrictions:
Hospitals’ decisions about visiting restrictions vary with the types of patients they serve and the specific services provided. For example, hospitals serving special patient populations such as pediatric, burn, transplant or ICU patients may institute more restrictive visitation policies.
Also, hospitals that provide obstetrical services may make exceptions to the restrictions for a newborn’s siblings who have received their flu vaccination at least seven to 14 days prior to visiting. Hospitals consider other exceptions on a case-by-case basis.
“We are asking the community to use good common sense to prevent the spread of germs that may make others sick,” said Tonda Francis, vice president of the Greater Cincinnati Health Council. “If you have a cold, the flu or other respiratory illness, please don’t visit patients in hospitals or nursing homes – it could make loved ones sicker than they already are.”
Most area hospitals plan to discontinue visiting restrictions on or about April 1, 2011, unless respiratory diseases are still highly prevalent in the Tristate at that time.