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12/14/2012

TCRH Implementing Temporary Visitation Guidelines to Minimize Flu Virus Spread

Galax, Virginia – Twin County Regional Hospital (TCRH) is taking additional precautions to minimize the spread of flu-like illnesses.

“The health of our community is very important to us,” stated Martha Easter, RN, BSN, TCRH Infection Prevention Coordinator.  “The flu increases the risk of severe complications to patients with other illnesses especially in individuals who are receiving cancer treatments or whose immune systems may be compromised along with pregnant women, infants, children and young adults.  Therefore, as the number of patients with flu-like illnesses continues to increase, so does our vigilance to prevent illnesses.  To that end, during this peak flu season, we are implementing temporary visitation guidelines for the health of our patients, their families, visitors and our community.”

The temporary visitation guidelines are effective immediately and will remain in effect until the peak flu season passes. The guidelines include:

  • Visitors under the age of 18 are restricted from visiting the hospital including the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) and the Mother-Baby Unit since those patients and infants, as well as visitors who are minors, are more vulnerable to illnesses increasing their risk for complications.
  • Visitors with flu/cold-like symptoms such as fever, coughing, sore throat, vomiting, diarrhea, body aches or any sign of respiratory or other illnesses should not visit the hospital.
  • If visitation is necessary, patients with flu-like symptoms may only have one visitor.
  • Patients in the Emergency Department may only have one visitor during their stay which means visitors are asked not to take turns visiting with the patient to protect the health of all parties.
  • Patients and visitors to any patients who have presented with or who are isolated with flu/cold-like illnesses may be asked to wear masks in waiting and/or treatment areas.

Additionally, everyone is strongly encouraged to protect their health by:
  • Covering your nose and mouth with a tissue or a shirt sleeve when you cough or sneeze. Disposing of the tissue in a trash receptacle after each use.
  • Washing your hands frequently with soap and water, especially after you cough or sneeze. Alcohol-based hand sanitizers can also be effective.
  • Avoiding touching your eyes, nose or mouth as these areas are vehicles for germs to enter the body.
  • Avoiding close contact with symptomatic individuals when possible.
  • Contacting your health provider and/or local health departments for the Flu Vaccine.
  • Drinking lots of liquids and getting plenty of rest.
Easter emphasized, “We would like to thank the community for their support of these infection prevention measures.”

For additional information, please visit www.tcrh.org, www.cdc.gov, www.flu.gov or www.vdh.state.va.us or call the Virginia Department of Health Hotline at 1-877-ASK-VDH3 (1-877-275-8343).

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