February 15, 2017

Flu Season Arrives; New Visiting Policy Announced

February 15, 2017

Flu season is here.
Flu season is here.

Cooley Dickinson is seeing an increase in the number of confirmed flu cases.

To help prevent the spread of the flu virus, Cooley Dickinson Health Care announces temporary changes to its visiting policy effective Monday, Feb. 13.

“We are taking these temporary precautions to help prevent the spread of flu in our community,” said Linda Riley, infection prevention nurse. “Because we have so many students and children in our community, it’s essential we take these precautionary measures.”

Until further notice, the following restrictions are in place:
• No children under the age of 14 will be allowed to visit hospitalized patients. In the Childbirth Center, only siblings will be permitted to visit.
• While visitors are important to a healing environment, the number of visitors should be limited to only those necessary for the patient’s comfort.
• People who visit hospitalized patients must clean their hands before entering and upon leaving a patient’s room.

In addition, we ask patients and families to please observe these guidelines:
• Pay close attention to your own health before visiting the hospital. Stay home if you are sick.
• To help reduce exposure to the flu in waiting areas within the hospital, patients should attend appointments alone or be accompanied by immediate caregivers only.
• Patients are discouraged from bringing children with them to appointments.
Linda added that the total number of people admitted to Cooley Dickinson Hospital so far this season with the flu has surpassed the total number of people who were admitted with the flu last year.

Riley strongly encourages people to stay home from work or school if they are sick and offers these reminders: Clean your hands often, especially before eating and after using the bathroom. Avoid touching your face, nose, and mouth. Get the flu shot; Riley says it’s not too late to get vaccinated against the flu.

Cooley Dickinson will continue to monitor the number of flu cases and will notify the community once the temporary restrictions have been lifted.