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TCRH alters visitation policy due to flu risk

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By Staff Reports

Twin County Regional Hospital is taking precautions through its visitation policy to minimize the spread of flu-like illnesses.
Temporary visitation guidelines are effective immediately and will remain in effect until the peak flu season passes.
Visitors younger than age 18 are restricted from visiting the hospital, including the intensive care unit and mother-baby unit, because those patients and infants, as well as visitors who are minors, are more vulnerable to illnesses.
Persons should not visit the hospital if they have flu/cold-like symptoms such as fever, coughing, sore throat, vomiting, diarrhea, body aches or any sign of respiratory or other illnesses.
If visitation is necessary, patients with flu-like symptoms may have only one visitor.
Patients in the emergency department may have only one visitor during their stay, which means visitors are asked not to take turns visiting with a patient. Patients and visitors to any patients who show flu or cold-like illnesses may be asked to wear masks in waiting and treatment areas.
“The health of our community is very important to us,” said hospital infection prevention coordinator Martha Easter. “Flu increases the risk of severe complications to patients with other illnesses, especially in individuals who are receiving cancer treatments or whose immune systems may be compromised along with pregnant women, infants, children and young adults.
“Therefore, as the number of patients with flu-like illnesses continues to increase, so does our vigilance to prevent illnesses
“To that end, during this peak flu season, we are implementing temporary visitation guidelines for the health of our patients, their families, visitors and our community.
“We would like to thank the community for their support of these infection prevention measures.”
The hospital in a news release urged to public to follow such practices as:
• Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue or a shirt sleeve when you cough or sneeze. Dispose of the tissue in a trash receptacle after each use.
• Wash hands frequently with soap and water, especially after a cough or sneeze. Alcohol-based hand sanitizers can also be effective.
• Avoid touching eyes, nose or mouth, as these areas are vehicles for germs to enter the body.
• Avoid close contact with symptomatic individuals when possible.
• Contact a health provider or health departments for the flu vaccine.
• Drink lots of liquids and get plenty of rest.

For additional information, see tcrh.org, cdc.gov, flu.gov or vdh.state.va.us; or call the Virginia Department of Health Hotline at 1-877-275-8343.