KDMC and OLBH announce visitation restrictions as precaution against widespread flu levels
ASHLAND — Due to the increase of flu cases and the recent announcement by the Department for Public Health that Kentucky’s flu activity is now an epidemic, King’s Daughters Medical Center and Our Lady of Bellefonte Hospital have implemented temporary visitor restrictions. The restrictions are aimed to help prevent the spread of the flu and include:
- Visitors may be issued masks or other protective clothing for use when visiting
- No visitors under the age of 12
- No visitors with any symptoms of flu-like illness (such as cough, sore throat, fever, chills, runny nose, body aches, nausea/vomiting, or diarrhea)
- Only two visitors will be permitted in a patient’s room at one time
- Additional restrictions may be in place in special care units such as pediatrics, critical care and oncology units
Visitors are encouraged to wash their hand frequently while in the hospital to reduce the spread of infection. The flu can cause serious complications and even death, especially in the very young, the elderly, and those with certain existing medical conditions. These measures are being taken in an effort to protect patients, families, and hospital staff.
“As healthcare providers, our goal is to protect the community from disease. Data suggests infected persons can transmit the virus as much as 24 hours before displaying symptoms. This community-wide recommendation helps protect our patients, visitors and staff from exposure to flu, even before symptoms occur,” said OLBH CEO Kevin Halter.
“Patient safety is our number one concern,” said King’s Daughters President/CEO Kristie Whitlatch. “To help their loved ones in the hospital, as well as other patients and our health care team, we are asking any visitor with flu-like symptoms to stay home.”
Symptoms of flu include fever and respiratory illness symptoms such as cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, muscle aches, chills, and sometimes vomiting and diarrhea. The recommendation to wear a mask when entering healthcare facilities will remain in effect during the flu season while the disease is at widespread levels.