VDMC limiting visitors

Restriction due to increase in influenza cases

Van Diest Medical Center announced that a hospital-wide visitor restriction has been placed into effect as of Sunday, Jan. 21, 2018 due to a significant increase in hospitalizations for influenza (respiratory “flu”). Officials believe it is critical to reducing potential exposure to the flu virus for patients, staff and visitors.

The following restrictions will be in place until further notice:

• Visitors under the age of 14 will not be permitted in the hospital

• Visitors are limited to immediate family members only (spouse/significant other, parent, sibling or child)

• Only one visitor per patient at a time

• Anyone coming into the hospital with flu or cold symptoms will be required to wear a mask

People who are ill or sick are requested to not visit patients. (Symptoms include fever, chills, muscle or body aches, sore throat, cough, stuffy nose, headache and fatigue). Please postpone your visit until you have been symptom-free for 24 hours.

Other things to consider:

• If individuals have not been vaccinated against the flu, it is the best protection against the majority of flu viruses this season, and vaccinations are still available

• Masks and hand-washing stations are located throughout the hospital and their use is strongly encouraged for families and visitors

• Hospital officials are working closely with the Iowa Department of Public Health to monitor flu activity

• Patients sent to the hospital for admission or testing may be asked to don a mask

The visitor restrictions will remain in effect until a decrease in admissions and positive flu test results are realized. The hospital appreciates cooperation with these efforts to keep the potential risk of influenza exposure to a minimum.