Mercy implementing visitor restrictions due to flu bug
It doesn’t look like the flu bug is going away anytime soon.
Mercy Medical Center in New Hampton announced this week that due to the prevalence of influenza, the facility has implemented visitor restrictions.
According to the most recent Flu Surveillance Report by the Iowa Department of Public Health (IDPH), there were an additional 14 flu-related deaths in Iowa reported last week, for a total of 43 deaths since October. There were 151 influenza-related hospitalizations reported from sentinel hospitals during this reporting week. Forty schools reported 10 percent or more illness at least once this reporting week.
The IDPH and Mercy both remind all Iowans of the “three C’s.” Cover your cough, using a tissue or your elbow; clean your hands, using soap and water or hand sanitizer; and contain germs by staying home when you’re sick.
Mercy asks all patients who come to Mercy with cold or flu symptoms to put on a mask. Healthy patients and visitors are welcome to use a mask as well.
The hospital waiting area has been separated for patients with influenza-like symptoms and those who are well.
The restrictions are called “Level Two Visitation Restrictions.” This means visitors with respiratory and/or flu-like symptoms are restricted from visiting hospitalized patients, obstetrics visitation is restricted to significant others and grandparents, pediatric visitation is restricted to parents and grandparents, patients in isolation are limited to significant others, parents and two visitors and visitors 18-and-under are restricted from entering the hospital unless there are extenuating circumstances. If a visitor 18-and-under needs to enter, they must where a mask.
Mercy said it realizes there may be circumstances that need special consideration, and in those cases, families should call the nurse in charge of the unit they wish to visit prior to arriving at the hospital.
For more of this article, see Friday's Tribune.