This week, the Greater Dayton Area Hospital Association (GDAHA) implemented new visitor restrictions to local, short-term acute care hospitals. The association says the move is an effort to minimize the spread of respiratory infections.
The GDAHA reports an increase of the seasonal flu virus in the last few weeks that has resulted in 30 hospitalizations in the region since December 1, and outpatient cases have increased 75 percent.
The new visitor restriction policy includes no visitation by anyone who has respiratory symptoms including coughing, fever, chills, headache, vomiting, sore throat, muscle aches or diarrhea. And no visitation by children under the age of 14 will be allowed.
“Children are particularly likely to carry viruses since they are heavily exposed in the school setting,” says Sarah Hackenbracht, the hospital association president and CEO.
Children being brought in for tests, therapies, or doctor visits are exempt from the new restrictions.
The association is asking the public to follow the new guidelines through the end of the flu season - at the end of March 2020.
They say an Infection Control Committee will monitor flu related cases in the months ahead “to see if the restrictions should be changed or modified.”