State, local healthcare experts take steps to lower flu risk in hospitals

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URBANA, Ill. (WCIA) — Due to the increasing cases of flu in the area, Carle Foundation Hospital and Carle Hoopeston Regional Health Center will have temporary visitor guidelines for all hospital patients.

For the safety of patients, visitors, and staff, there will be a maximum of two visitors allowed in a patient’s room at a time.

“The safety of our patients, visitors and staff is always our top priority,” said Robert Healy, MD, chief quality officer at Carle. “With these temporary changes our patients, staff and visitors have less of a chance to catch or spread the flu. These visitor guidelines will be lifted when the threat of flu diminishes.”

Carle adopted the following Illinois Department of Public Health recommendations to help protect patients and visitors from exposure to the flu:

  • Those under age 18 should not visit the hospital
  • Limit of two visitors at a time in a patient room
  • Visitors with respiratory illness should not visit the hospital, or wear a mask if they must visit
  • If a patient is in isolation because of flu, limit visitors to those who are vital to the patient’s emotional well-being and care.
  • Visitors should cough or sneeze into a tissue and throw away that tissue immediately
  • Visitors should wash hands with soap and water or use hand sanitizer after blowing their nose or coughing or sneezing 

Additional guidelines exist in women’s and children’s areas to keep our smallest patients and new mothers healthy.

Carle encourages members of the public to get a flu vaccination if they haven’t done so.

Even at this late date, a vaccine will protect people and communities from the flu virus.

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