RUTHERFORDTON, NC – Rutherford Regional Health System (RRHS) administrators, infection prevention staff and safety officials have announced “limited visitation” at the hospital because rates of influenza-like illness have risen above the two percent mark statewide.
Limited visitation at the medical center means:
- children and teens are discouraged from visiting the hospital at all;
- adult visitors and family members should be limited to next of kin and close contacts;
- visitors who do not feel well should not visit the hospital at all;
- those who do visit are asked to use good cough etiquette (cough or sneeze into a tissue or into the elbow, NOT into the hand);
- wash hands or use hand sanitizer thoroughly before and after visiting.
Note: the request also applies to pastors visiting members of their faith community, except in end-of-life and critical situations.
The RRHS policy for announcing limited visitation states that decisions such as these will be made according to the weekly North Carolina State Influenza Surveillance Summary Report that details the number of influenza-like illness statewide.
The most recent version of that report confirmed greater than two percent activity for influenza-like illness and noted that the growth of cases was “widespread.”
Limiting visitations is a precaution often taken during flu season when flu activity reaches a certain level. Should the flu activity level increase, further restrictions may be recommended or implemented.
RRHS also takes this opportunity to remind the public to make an exceptional effort to help with preventing the spread of the flu:
- By getting an annual flu vaccination;
- Covering your cough or sneeze with a tissue or your sleeve if you don’t have a tissue;
- If you think you are ill with flu, avoid close contact with others as much as possible;
- Contact your local physician if you have symptoms of the flu;
- Do not go to work, school or travel while ill.