HRMC limits hospital visitation due to flu-like illnesses

Jan 03, 2017

CLYDE — Effective immediately, Haywood Regional Medical Center (HRMC) will begin “limited visitation” at the hospital due to the increased number of positive flu cases in our area and increased number of admissions. The rates of influenza-like illness have risen above the two percent mark in our region and the flu has been responsible for the deaths of four people in the state already. Visitor limitations is a precaution often taken during flu season when flu activity reaches a certain level. Should the flu activity level increase further, greater restrictions may be recommended or implemented.

Limited visitation at the medical center means:

  • ·         Visitors will be limited to those 12 years or older whodo not have symptoms of respiratory illnesses such as: fever, cough, sore throat, sneezing, runny or stuffy nose, headache, nausea or vomiting. 

  • ·         Visitors/ patients who have symptoms and must visit for medical care or a procedure should be instructed to: clean hands with alcohol hand sanitizer, put on a mask when entering the facility or hold a tissue over their mouth and nose at all times, and sit at least 3 feet from others in the waiting room. 

“The 2016-2017 flu season has become widespread in North Carolina and has been responsible for the deaths of four people in the state already,” said Diana Robinson, RN CIC, Infection Prevention Specialist at HRMC. “It is vital that everyone gets their flu shot as soon as possible for their personal protection and to help prevent the spreading of the flu to others.”

The HRMC policy for announcing limited visitation states that decisions such as these will be made according to the weekly North Carolina State Influenza Surveillance Summary Report that details the number of influenza-like illness statewide. The most recent version of that report confirmed greater than two percent activity for influenza-like illness and noted that the growth of cases was “widespread.”

HRMC also takes this opportunity to remind the public to make an exceptional effort to help with preventing the spread of the flu:

- By getting an annual flu vaccination;
- Covering your cough or sneeze with a tissue or your sleeve if you don’t have a tissue;
- If you think you are ill with flu, avoid close contact with others as much as possible;
- Contact your local physician if you have symptoms of the flu;
- Do not go to work, school or travel while ill.