Local hospitals are enforcing new visitor restrictions as flu season is underway.
For hospitals within the Mohawk Valley Health System, only two visitors per patient will be allowed, and all children under 14 years old are prohibited from visiting inpatient areas. MVHS officials say this is because children are more likely to have and transmit respiratory infections.
The hospitals are also asking that people who feel ill with any type of upper-respiratory problem avoid visiting the hospitals.
At Rome Memorial Hospital, visitors under 18 years old are currently prohibited, and only parents and grandparents are being allowed to visit the maternity ward. Hospital administrators also ask that anyone exhibiting flu-like symptoms or gastrointestinal illness to please not visit patients or residents.
Bassett Medical Center in Cooperstown has also modified its visitation policy. At the Bassett Birthing Center and on the hospital’s pediatric unit only the birthing coach, parents, grandparents and siblings of the baby or pediatric patient may visit, as long as they are healthy.
MVHS officials offer the following tips for protecting yourself against the flu:
- Frequent and thorough hand washing.
- Covering all coughs and sneezes. If you don’t have a handkerchief or a tissue, use the crook of your arm, not your hand.
- Staying home from work, school or social events if you have a fever, cough, sore throat, body aches and pains or other symptoms such as nausea or vomiting sometimes associated with influenza.
- Avoiding people exhibiting symptoms of a flu-like illness.
- If you have flu-like symptoms that are severe and persistent, you should contact your healthcare provider.