News and Information

CaroMont Regional Enacts Temporary Visitor Restriction

02-07-2019

GASTONIA, NC – In order to help control the spread of flu and flu-like illness, CaroMont Health announced today it will temporarily restrict hospital visitors under the age of 13 to CaroMont Regional Medical Center beginning Friday, February 8 at 7 a.m. Additionally, guests who have compromised immune systems or are experiencing flu-like symptoms should not visit a patient in the hospital during this time. This restriction also includes visitors to The Birthplace.

“The number of influenza and influenza-like illness cases presenting to our emergency departments and doctors’ offices has continued to climb in recent days,” said Todd Davis, MD, Chief Medical Officer at CaroMont Health. “The decision to implement these restrictions was made by medical and nursing leaders and under the recommendation of Infection Prevention experts. Putting visitor restrictions in place is a necessary step to ensure we protect our patients, staff and visitors, as well as reduce the risk of exposing vulnerable populations.”

Typically, the flu virus is spread when an infected person coughs or sneezes near a susceptible person or contact is made with a contaminated surface. Adults tend to spread the virus from the day before symptoms begin through 5-10 days after the onset of the illness. Young children and individuals with compromised immune systems may take longer to present symptoms and are more likely to spread the virus to more people.

Visitor restrictions continue to be implemented annually to address upticks in influenza presentation. These restrictions are similar to those being implemented by hospitals across the state. The visitor restriction plan will remain in place until the incidence of flu and flu-like illness subsides and CaroMont officials, in accordance with Centers for Disease Control recommendations, determine it is no longer needed.

“We have seen a consistent increase in the number of patients presenting with flu-like symptoms over the last several days,” said Dr. Erik Schuls, Physician Administrator for Acute Care at CaroMont Health. “That sustained uptick is the indicator that triggers visitor restriction for hospitals across the state and country. Limiting possible exposure for individuals who are at-risk for contracting the flu is in the best interest of our patients and the community.”

More about the flu:

Typically, the flu virus is spread when an infected person coughs or sneezes near a susceptible person or contact is made with a contaminated surface. Adults tend to spread the virus from the day before symptoms begin through 5-10 days after the onset of the illness. Young children and individuals with compromised immune systems may take longer to present symptoms and are more likely to spread the virus to more people.

Typical flu symptoms include fever of 100 degrees or higher and any of the following:

  • Cough and/or sore throat
  • Runny or stuffy nose
  • Headache and/or body aches
  • Chills
  • Fatigue
  • Nausea, vomiting, and/or diarrhea (most common in children)

To avoid contracting the flu, it is strongly encouraged that you take certain precautions such as:

  • Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue or a shirtsleeve when you cough or sneeze. Dispose of the tissue in a trash receptacle after each use.
  • Wash your hands frequently with soap and water, especially after you cough or sneeze. Alcohol-based hand sanitizers can also be effective.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth, as these areas are vehicles for germs to enter the body.
  • Avoid close contact with symptomatic individuals when possible.
  • Contact your health provider and/or local health departments for the flu vaccine.
  • Drink many liquids and get plenty of rest.

Getting a flu shot is the best way to protect yourself and your family from the flu.

Categories: Current