COLUMBUS COUNTY, N.C. (WECT) - The Columbus Regional Healthcare System has announced restrictions for visitors under the age of 18 in an effort to prevent the spread of flu.
“Except in extreme circumstances, visitors under 18 will not be permitted in the hospital unless they are a patient seeking medical care,” officials announced in a Facebook post on Friday.
CRHS also is urging anyone with flu-like symptoms to avoid visiting the hospital.
“We know this change may pose an inconvenience to families with patients in the hospital,” said John Young, Columbus Regional president and CEO, “but it is very important that we do all we can to prevent the spread of the flu virus. We want to protect our patients, visitors, and staff, from accidental exposure to the flu virus that has become wide-spread in our community. We apologize for any inconvenience this change may have caused.”
All area hospitals in southeastern North Carolina have issued similar flu-related visitor restrictions.
Health officials are encouraging people to take the following actions to help prevent the spread of the flu:
• Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. Throw 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 with your hands.
• Try to avoid close contact with sick people. (Keep at least 3 feet of separation.)
• If you are sick with flu-like symptoms, it is recommended that 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.