Columbus Regional announces flu-related visitor restrictions

Columbus Regional announces flu-related visitor restrictions
(Source: WECT)

WHITEVILLE, NC (WECT) - Officials with Columbus Regional Healthcare on Thursday announced flu-related visitation restrictions that are effective immediately.

Hospital officials said no one under 18 years of age will be allowed in the hospital unless they are seeking medical care.

“This decision was made in response to concerns about flu and is endorsed by the Columbus County Health Department,” officials said in a Facebook post.

In addition, officials are urging the public to not visit the hospital if you are experiencing flu-like symptoms such as a fever over 100 degrees accompanied by a sore throat, coughing, diarrhea, or body aches.

“We know this change poses an inconvenience to families with patients in the hospital,” said John Young, Columbus Regional CEO, “But it is very important that we do all that we can to prevent the spread of the flu virus. We want to protect our patients, and our staff, from accidental exposure to the influenza virus that has become widespread in our community. We apologize for any inconvenience this change may have caused.”

The visitor restriction policy will remain in place until further notice.

Hospital officials recommend the following steps to help prevent the spread of the flu:

  • Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. Throw away the tissue in the trash after you use it.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand rub.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth. Germs spread this way.
  • Try to avoid close contact with sick people. (Keep 3 feet separation)
  • If you are sick with flu-like illness, it’s recommended you stay home for at least 24 hours after your fever is gone except to get medical care or for other necessities. (Your fever should be gone without the use of a fever-reducing medicine)
  • While sick, limit contact with others as much as possible to keep from infecting them.

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