Palmetto Health hospitals implement visitor restrictions due to very active flu season

COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) - Palmetto Health hospitals have initiated visitor restrictions in an effort to prevent the spread of the flu.

In a statement released on Wednesday, Palmetto Health said the restrictions are due to a rise in the number of individuals with cold or flu-like symptoms visiting the hospital's outpatient facilities and emergency rooms.

Palmetto Health is requesting that any visitor who has cold or flu-like symptoms not visit anyone in their facilities.

Patients are now limited to only two adult visitors at a time.

The hospital system is also restricting anyone under 18 from visiting patients except in "special cases" or with prior approval from the patient's healthcare team.

"We really need our community to help us this flu season by following these restrictions. These have been initiated because the flu this year is very active. It's impacting our entire healthcare community including all emergency rooms and outpatient care facilities. There are extremely long waits and an overflow of patients. We want to do everything that we can to assist those who are sick and prevent others from becoming sick," said Steve Shelton, M.D., emergency room physician and Palmetto Health medical director of Emergency Management.

The hospital also wanted to remind people of simple tips to prevent the spread of the flu:

  • Clean your hands frequently. Look for hand hygiene stations around the hospital and use them often. Please make sure to clean your hands when entering and leaving the hospital either by washing with soap or rubbing your hands together with hand sanitizer.
  • Cover your cough. You can easily spread the flu as a result of coughs, sneezes or simply talking.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth. Germs spread this way.
  • It’s not too late to get the flu vaccine if you haven't done so already. Getting this simple shot can help increase your chances of staying healthy and avoid getting others sick.

For more information, you can visit Palmetto Health's website.

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