OSF HealthCare St. Francis Hospital & Medical Group is asking that the public continue to limit visits to the hospital. A steady increase in seasonal flu activity and other upper respiratory illnesses in the community have been noted since visitor restrictions were implemented in late December.
“Limiting visits to the hospital is a precautionary measure to help prevent the spread of these flu and flu-like illnesses to patients, staff, and other visitors,” said Nicole Pirlot, Infection Preventionist at OSF St. Francis Hospital & Medical Group.
The following guidelines are based on recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Effective December 22, 2017 it is requested that:
- Visitors should be at least 18 years of age and older. This will minimize exposure of patients to children, who are known to be high risk for transmission of viral infections, and will protect children from contracting an illness while visiting the hospital.
- Please do not visit hospitalized patients if you are not feeling well, particularly if you have had flu-like symptoms during the past seven days. Symptoms include a fever of 100 degrees Fahrenheit or higher, cough, and/or sore throat.
Even visitors who are not experiencing flu-like symptoms need to follow precautions when coming into the Hospital and Medical Group. Visitors should always follow the steps below when visiting a healthcare facility:
- Cover your mouth and nose when you cough or sneeze.
- Clean your hands often—especially before entering and after exiting the hospital room.
- Use soap and water to wash your hands or an alcohol-based hand rub to disinfect your hands.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth.
- Get your flu shot. The best way to prevent the flu and spreading illness is by getting vaccinated each year.
If you are visiting a patient in the hospital, please remember to stop by the nurses’ station before entering a patient room.
For tips on staying healthy during flu season, visit http://www.cdc.gov/flu/protect/habits.htm