Carolinas HealthCare System Blue Ridge Revises Visitation Policy Due to Flu
MORGANTON, NC (February 23, 2017) – To keep patients – and visitors – safe from the flu, Carolinas HealthCare System Blue Ridge is restricting hospital access for visitors age 12 and under at the Morganton and Valdese hospitals, effective at 7 a.m. on Friday, Feb. 24.
Tighter restrictions are in place at Carolinas HealthCare System Blue Ridge long-term care facilities – Grace Heights and College Pines Health and Rehabilitation Centers. Visitation is restricted to immediate family only and no children under age 18. Visitors are asked to clean hands before and after visiting and to wear a mask while in the facility. Masks and hand sanitizers are available inside the front entrances.
The restrictions are a result of the growing prevalence of flu cases in Burke, Caldwell and McDowell counties.
Carolinas HealthCare System Blue Ridge is also asking individuals of all ages who are experiencing flu-like symptoms to help control the spread of the illness by not visiting patients in the hospital. Symptoms include: fever, headaches/body aches/pain, cough or sore throat, stuffy or runny nose, chills, fatigue, nausea, vomiting and/or diarrhea.
If extraordinary circumstances require an individual with flu-like symptoms to visit a hospital patient, the visitor will be asked to wear a surgical mask to protect themselves and others.
To reduce the odds of getting the flu, Carolinas HealthCare System Blue Ridge recommends frequent hand washing with soap or use of an alcohol-based hand sanitizer, not touching eyes, nose or mouth with hands, and getting a flu shot.
“Most people with the flu have mild illness and do not need medical care,” said Joseph Mazzola, DO, Chief Medical Officer at Carolinas HealthCare System Blue Ridge. “If you have flu symptoms, in most cases you should stay home and avoid contact with other people.”
Flu sufferers should rest, drink fluids and take ibuprofen or acetaminophen to reduce minor pain or fever.
If symptoms are severe enough to require a visit to a healthcare provider, a physician’s office or urgent care center may be the best option to minimize wait times in emergency rooms. Emergency rooms should only be used for people who are very sick such as those with difficulty breathing, chest pain, confusion, severe vomiting or signs of dehydration.
Wait times for Carolinas HealthCare System Blue Ridge urgent care centers and emergency departments are available at this link.