Carolinas HealthCare System Blue Ridge Revises Visitation Policy Due to Flu - Hospitals Restrict Visitors 12 and Under
MORGANTON, NC (January 12, 2018) – 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, Jan. 12.
All visitors are asked to clean hands before and after visiting their loved ones in the hospital. Masks and hand sanitizers are available throughout the hospital.
The restrictions are a result of the growing prevalence of flu cases throughout North Carolina and the nation.
“We are seeing steady influenza activity in our Urgent Care and Emergency Rooms causing intermittent increased wait times,” says Joseph Mazzola, DO, Chief Medical Officer at Carolinas HealthCare System Blue Ridge. “But we are not overflowing at this time.”
Dr. Mazzola urges those with flu-like symptoms to help control the spread of the illness by not visiting patients in the hospital.
Flu 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.
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.
“I encourage those with flu symptoms to check our wait times online before traveling to the emergency room,” Dr. Mazzola says.
Wait times for Carolinas HealthCare System Blue Ridge urgent care centers and emergency departments are available at this link.