All Guthrie hospitals implemented visitor restrictions on Tuesday due to a pervasive flu season throughout the area.
Under the restrictions, all children under 12 and anyone experiencing flu symptoms are recommended not to visit in order to prevent the virus from catching on in Guthrie’s facilities.
“We’ve enacted the restrictions because there’s currently an elevated level of flu in the direct communities that we serve,” Guthrie marketing and communications specialist Carla Craig said. “When flu season is waning, we’ll go back to normal visitation.”
“When our patient safety team deems that it is safe to open up our visitation to our normal schedule, we’ll announce that,” she added.
According to Guthrie, common flu symptoms include fever, cough, sore throat, runny nose, and nasal congestion. If a person has experienced any of these symptoms within the past 24 hours, they are recommended to avoid visitation.
In regards to children under 12, they are more likely to spread the influenza virus than adults, due to the fact that children may not practice proper hygiene or handwashing procedures.
Craig said visitors can work with hospital staff if the patient they are visiting is a loved one with a terminal illness, for example.
“This is done for patient's safety,” she said. “(However) if a patient has a concern with the policy for some reason, they can work with the staff on the floor and talk to a manager.”
For all other patients, visitors and employees, masks and hand sanitizer are available at the entrances of each hospital.
“We would like to thank the community for its understanding and participation in this important initiative to keep our patients and staff safe and healthy this flu season,” Guthrie said in a statement.
For more information, contact the Guthrie Call Center at 1-888-448-8474.