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Area hospitals restrict access to avoid spread of flu

Novant Health, Wake Forest Baptist Health and Atrium Health are restricting visitors to their hospitals because of a widespread flu outbreak.
Novant Health is asking the community to keep visitors age 12 and under out of all acute care facilities due to the widespread outbreak of the flu virus throughout the community. This restriction is effective on Friday, Feb. 8, at 7 a.m. until further notice.

Those individuals age 13 and over who are experiencing runny nose, sore throat, fever or cough are also encouraged not to visit patients being treated at Novant Health facilities. However, people who are seeking treatment at hospitals are not subject to the restriction.

“The flu virus can be extremely dangerous to people who have compromised immune systems, cancer, kidney disease and other chronic conditions,” said Dr. Eric Eskioglu, executive vice president and chief medical officer, Novant Health. “In order to protect our patients, we are asking members of the public who are 12 years and under or who may be sick with the influenza virus to not visit these facilities at this time.”

The restrictions apply to the following hospitals throughout the Novant Health system, including:

  • Novant Health Brunswick Medical Center
  • Novant Health Charlotte Orthopedic Hospital
  • Novant Health Clemmons Medical Center
  • Novant Health Forsyth Medical Center
  • Novant Health Hemby Children’s Hospital
  • Novant Health Huntersville Medical Center
  • Novant Health Kernersville Medical Center
  • Novant Health Matthews Medical Center
  • Novant Health Medical Park Hospital
  • Novant Health Mint Hill Medical Center
  • Novant Health Presbyterian Medical Center
  • Novant Health Rowan Medical Center
  • Novant Health Thomasville Medical Center

All visitors to any of these facilities should properly disinfect their hands by washing with soap and water or using sanitizing gel when entering and leaving the facilities in order to prevent the spread of the flu virus.

Children may be allowed access to hospital areas in the event of special circumstances such as visiting a dying family member. In these instances, parents should work with their nurse to make arrangements.

The restrictions were a joint decision among regional hospitals including Novant Health, Atrium Health, Cone Health, Randolph Health and Wake Forest Baptist Health. These healthcare systems will continue to evaluate the need for visitation restrictions on a weekly basis or more often as needed.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention provides regularly updated information on flu activity at this web address: cdc.gov/flu/weekly/fluactivitysurv.htm.

Atrium

Effective at 7 a.m. on Friday, Feb. 8, Atrium Health is restricting hospital access for visitors 12 years old and under at all of its Charlotte region in-patient hospitals.

Hospitals affected by the tighter visitation policy are: Atrium Health’s Carolinas Medical Center, Levine Children’s Hospital, Levine Cancer Institute, Carolinas Medical Center-Mercy, Carolinas HealthCare System NorthEast, Atrium Health Pineville, Union, University City, Lincoln, Cleveland, Kings Mountain, Anson, Carolinas HealthCare System Blue Ridge, Carolinas Stanly, Carolinas Behavioral Health-Charlotte, Carolinas  Behavioral Health-Davidson, Carolinas Rehabilitation-Charlotte, Carolinas Rehabilitation-NorthEast, Carolinas Rehabilitation-Mt. Holly, and Atrium Health Pineville Rehabilitation Hospital.

Atrium Health is also asking individuals of all ages who are experiencing flu-like symptoms to help control the spread of the illness by not visiting patients in the hospital. 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, Atrium Health 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.

Wake Forest Baptist

Wake Forest Baptist Health will implement temporary visitor restrictions starting at 7 a.m. tomorrow, Friday, Feb. 8.

To help control the spread of the virus and to protect the health of our patients, their loved ones and our medical staff, these restrictions will remain in effect through the remainder of the flu season.

The restrictions apply to all Wake Forest Baptist inpatient locations:

  • Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center
  • Wake Forest Baptist Health – Davie Medical Center
  • Wake Forest Baptist Health – High Point Medical Center
  • Wake Forest Baptist Health – Lexington Medical Center
  • Wake Forest Baptist Health – Wilkes Medical Center

Effective Friday morning, children age 12 and under may not visit patients. Exceptions for extenuating family circumstances may be allowed, but parents or guardians must first check with the patient’s nurse.

Healthy adult visitors and healthy family members age 13 and older are welcome to visit patients.

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