Flu prompts visitor restrictions at hospital

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Times Herald Staff

Hospital Sisters Health System (HSHS) has issued visitor restrictions and guidelines at St. Clare Memorial Hospital in Oconto Falls and its other Eastern Wisconsin Division medical centers.

The restrictions are a response to the increase of flu cases in area communities. These guidelines will be posted at visitor entrances:

· No visitors under age 12 in inpatient areas.

· No visitors of any age with flu-like symptoms including fever, sore throat, cough, runny nose, fever, vomiting or diarrhea.

· Try to limit the number of healthy visitors to one or two people per patient.

It is important to note that this restriction is not in place for a pediatric patient coming to one of the hospitals for an outpatient appointment.

While this is not vastly different than existing infection prevention guidelines for visitors, the high numbers of influenza cases recently (including those requiring hospitalization) prompted HSHS to temporarily put these guidelines in place.

The health system added that it is not too late to get a flu shot, and washing your hands frequently is one of the best ways to avoid the flu.

There may be exceptions based on special patient needs that allow families to be with their loved ones. These cases can be discussed with each individual patient’s care team.

The other HSHS hospitals in the division are St. Vincent Hospital and St. Mary’s Hospital Medical Center in Green Bay, and St. Nicholas Hospital in Sheboygan.