COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) – Columbus Regional Health is requesting that all non-family visitors and other with potential flu-like symptoms avoid visits to its facilities until further notice.
Midtown Medical Center is also recommending that individuals with flu-like symptoms utilize their family physicians or urgent care centers.
Due to several factors, including the spread of flu across the region, hospital staff is working with an unusually high number of patients with flu-like symptoms and gastrointestinal distress.
Susan Harp, Infection Control Coordinator for Columbus Regional Health, says that all individuals should take precautions to avoid spreading influenza and other respiratory illnesses by frequently washing or sanitizing their hands, and limiting contact with sick people in general at this time.
"Visiting sick patients can infect visitors. Hospitalized patients can become infected by visitors who may be infectious for the flu prior to developing signs or symptoms of illness," Harp said. "It makes sense right now to take precautions and do what we can do to protect everyone."
Because of the increased risk being experienced across the region at this time, Dr. R. Scott Hannay, Chief Medical Officer for Columbus Regional Health, has put the following guidelines in place at Midtown Medical Center, Northside Medical Center and the John B. Amos Cancer Center until further notice:
- Limit visitors to two adults per patient at any time
- Unless they are receiving treatment, children aged 12 and under will not be permitted in the hospital
- Wash hands or sanitize with an alcohol rub frequently especially after entering and upon leaving a medical facility
- Visitors with symptoms of the flu or gastrointestinal illness, including fever, cough, sneezing, runny nose, sore throat, vomiting or diarrhea will not be permitted in the hospital
- Take the flu vaccine
Hand sanitizer and masks will be placed at hospital entrances as well as other high-traffic areas for the use of visitors. Children 12 and under receiving treatment will be required to wear a mask.