Area hospitals limiting visitors to reduce spread of flu

Posted by Phil Riggan - email

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - Richmond and Tri-Cities area hospitals today announced a coordinated plan to reduce the spread of seasonal and H1N1 flu by limiting visitors to healthy adults 18 years and older and no more than two adult visitors at a time per patient.

Officials said that effective Monday, Oct. 26, they are limiting visitations in patient care areas at their hospitals because the flu is widespread in the Richmond area. Children, in particular, are more likely to get H1N1 flu and they can be infectious for longer periods of time, putting them at greater risk of carrying the virus into health care settings.

Limited exceptions for special circumstances will be made, for example, involving patients at the end of life or expectant and new fathers under the age of 18. Exceptions will be allowed at the discretion of the health care provider.

The policy will remain in effect throughout the flu season, at least through March 2010. Hospital systems working in conjunction with the Virginia Department of Health will evaluate the policy based on the incidence of flu in the community.

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