Morris Hospital limits visitors to combat flu
By Jeanne Millsap Correspondent January 18, 2013 8:14AM
Updated: February 21, 2013 6:39AM
Morris Hospital administrators implemented visitor restrictions in the hospital last week, effective until the number of influenza, or flu, cases declines in the area.
The restrictions include limiting the number of visitors to two per patient at any one time.
No visitors under the age of 18 will be allowed, either, and visitors may be assessed for any symptoms of illness.
Hospital spokeswoman Janet Long said the hospital decided to implement the restrictions recommended by the Illinois Department of Public Health to protect its patients and staff from the virulent flu going around this season.
Long said the number of positive flu cases began to spike in the hospital’s emergency room and two immediate care centers around Dec. 17 and continued “significantly higher than normal” until last week.
“We’re trying to help slow the spread of the flu,” Long said, “and to protect our patients … Somebody who is sick should certainly not be coming to the hospital to visit patients. We are asking for everyone’s cooperation.”
The hospital will rely on information and recommendations from the Grundy County Health Department on when the visitor restrictions should be lifted, but Long said it could potentially be several weeks.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the country is experiencing an early flu season this year, with most of the country seeing high levels of flu-like illness. Some regions may have peaked, according to the center’s report, while others are still on the upswing.