Mayo Clinic Health System sets visitor restrictions
Mayo Clinic Health System has implemented visitor restrictions at its hospitals in Springfield, Mankato, Fairmont, New Prague, St. James and Waseca in order to protect patients and staff and limit the spread of influenza and other illnesses.
The restrictions, announced on December 18 are:
Visitors are limited to immediate family members (patient spouse or significant other, parent, sibling or child)
Only two visitors per patient at a time
No one who is ill (has symptoms of influenza including fever or chills, muscle or body aches, sore throat, cough, stuffy nose, headache and fatigue) will be permitted to visit
These restrictions apply to all patients in all areas of the hospitals and are effective until further notice.
“By restricting visitors in this way we can help protect patients and others who are most susceptible to contracting influenza,” says Diane Hauth, registered nurse and infection preventionist at Mayo Clinic Health System in Springfield. “We realize this may cause inconvenience for some people, but we are taking this step in the best interest of the health of our patients, visitors and staff members.”
Hospitals and other health care organizations are reporting significant increases in patients testing positive for influenza and others presenting with flu-like symptoms in clinics, urgent care settings and emergency departments.
“Everyone can make a difference to help reduce the spread of influenza and other illness by taking a few simple steps. Precautions include regularly washing your hands, covering your cough, staying home if you are sick and contacting your health care provider before going to a clinic or emergency department if you have flu-like symptoms,” says Hauth.
“In addition, we urge everyone to get the flu vaccine as soon as possible in order to protect you for the rest of the season. Vaccination is especially important for children, adults 65 and older, pregnant women and people with asthma, diabetes and other long-term conditions who are at high risk from flu complications.”
Most experts believe that flu viruses spread mainly by droplets made when people with flu cough, sneeze or talk. These droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby. Less often, a person might also get flu by touching a surface or object that has flu virus on it and then touching their own mouth, eyes or possibly their nose.
“Getting the flu vaccine is one of the most effective ways each of us can avoid getting the flu and spreading the illness to others,” says Hauth. “Supplies of the flu vaccine are plentiful and readily available from your local health care provider or other consumer outlets, including many pharmacies.”
The seasonal flu is a contagious respiratory illness caused by flu viruses. It can cause mild to severe illness, and at times can lead to death.
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Mayo Clinic Health System consists of Mayo-owned clinics, hospitals and other health care facilities that serve the health care needs of people in more than 70 communities in Georgia, Iowa, Minnesota and Wisconsin. The community-based providers, paired with the resources and expertise of Mayo Clinic, enable patients in the region to receive the highest quality health care close to home.