Beginning today, McKee Medical Center is implementing new visitor restrictions as an additional precautionary measure to ensure a safe environment for patients, and to protect patients, visitors and employees during the influenza season.
Visitors 12 years of age and younger will no longer be allowed to visit patient care areas including patient rooms, medical imaging, therapy areas and outpatient service areas.
Research indicates that people in this age group are more likely to be carriers and transmitters of the flu and H1N1 virus.
Young people who do come to the hospital will be asked to remain in waiting areas and children must be supervised by an adult at all times.
“We understand this is a significant change in our visitation policy, but we believe it’s a prudent measure to ensure the safety of our patients and our staff during the influenza season,” said Janet Conner, infection preventionist at McKee Medical Center.
“The influenza virus is easily spread by human to human contact and we are enacting these changes because we feel it’s in the best interest of our patients and our community.”
As additional safety measures, the McKee staff also requests that you:
v Restrict visits to the hospital if you are exhibiting signs of possible flu (fever, cough, sneezing, runny nose, body aches, nausea, etc.). Ask friends and family members who may plan a visit to the hospital to do the same.
v Wash your hands often, especially before entering a patient’s room and when leaving the room. Sinks, soap and hand sanitizers are available on all nursing units and throughout the hospital. Vigorously rub your hands together using soap and water for 15 seconds or as long as it takes to sing “Happy Birthday” twice.
v Cover your nose and mouth when you cough or sneeze with a tissue or cough into your elbow, and encourage others to do the same.
v Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth.
v People who schedule outpatient appointments in other facilities operated by the hospital also will be asked not to bring their children or other guests ages 12 and under.
“We appreciate the understanding and cooperation of our guests and our community as we do everything we can to protect the health and safety of our patients,” Conner said.
“Many of them already have compromised immune systems which make them more susceptible to illness. We will do everything in our power to provide a safe and clean healing environment for them on their journey back to health.”