Temporary hospital visitor restrictions to be lifted Friday

Published 9:47 am Thursday, March 28, 2019

Effective tomorrow, Friday, March 29 at 7 a.m., temporary visitor restrictions will be lifted at all Wake Forest Baptist Health 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

The visitor restrictions for children age 12 and under have been in place since Feb. 8 to help control the spread of flu.

“The rates of influenza have steadily declined in our area in the past several weeks,” said Larry B. Givner, M.D., professor of pediatric infectious diseases at Wake Forest Baptist Health. “We are continuing to monitoring the virus, but we feel it is appropriate to now lift these temporary visitor restrictions, so that healthy children can visit their loved ones who are patients at our hospitals.”

Before deciding to lift restrictions, infection prevention teams from Wake Forest Baptist and four other health systems – Atrium Health, Cone Health, Novant Health and Randolph Health – coordinated to make sure all were seeing similar downward trends in flu cases to warrant lifting restrictions at all hospitals.

These five health systems are lifting visitor restrictions at the same time and in the same way they enacted them in February because they share the same geographic area and have similar rates of influenza in the community.

Atrium 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, Stanly, Carolinas HealthCare System Behavioral Health-Charlotte and Davidson, Carolinas Rehabilitation-Charlotte, -NorthEast and -Mt. Holly, and Atrium Health Pineville Rehabilitation Hospital.

Despite the decline, Atrium Health is 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. Atrium Health teammates who provided a medical or religious exemption and did not receive the flu vaccine will continue to wear masks when providing direct patient care until the end of flu season is declared.

The spread of influenza can be decreased by practicing good hand hygiene and staying home from school or work if experiencing fever.