Southern Ohio Medical Center has announced temporary restrictions to its visitation policy to protect patients and staff from the flu.
With several schools in the area closed this week and the flu at high risk in the Scioto County area, SOMC is taking precautionary measures to help stop the spread of viruses and to protect its medically fragile patients.
On Monday the hospital posted to Facebook its temporary changes to its visitation policy, which will be implemented until further notice.
The restrictions currently in place are:
· No visitors under the age of 12
· No visitors with any symptoms of flu-like illness
· Only two visitors are permitted in a patient’s room at one time
SOMC said in a release visitors may be issued masks or other protective clothing when visiting the hospital. Visitors should be aware that there may be additional restrictions in place for special care units, such as pediatrics, critical care, heart care and oncology.
During the week of Jan. 19 through the 25, public health surveillance data sources indicated moderate intensity for influenza-like illness (ILI) in outpatient settings reported by Ohio’s sentinel providers. The percentage of emergency department visits with patients exhibiting constitutional symptoms are above baseline levels statewide; fever and ILI specified ED visits are also above baseline levels, according to the Ohio Department of Health.
Reported cases of influenza-associated hospitalizations are above the seasonal threshold. There were 611 influenza-associated hospitalizations reported during the week of Jan. 19.
The Ohio Department of Health tracks seasonal influenza activity on a weekly basis throughout the year. ODH monitors circulating flu viruses and other related data sources and provides weekly summaries of influenza activity from October through May.