Mayo Clinic Health System today (Jan. 7) announced it is implementing visitor restrictions at its hospitals in Springfield, Mankato, Fairmont, New Prague, St. James and Waseca in order to protect patients and staff and limit the spread of influenza and other illnesses.
The restrictions are:
- Visitors are limited to immediate family members (Patient spouse or significant other, parent, sibling or child)
- Only two visitors per patient at a time
- No one who is ill (Has symptoms of influenza including fever or chills, muscle or body aches, sore throat, cough, stuffy nose, headache and fatigue) will be permitted to visit
- These restrictions apply to all patients in all areas of the hospitals and are effective until further notice.
"By restricting visitors in this way we can help protect patients and others who are most susceptible to contracting influenza," says Scott Thoreson, Administrator at Mayo Clinic Health System in Springfield. "We realize this may cause inconvenience for some people, but we are taking this step in the best interest of the health of our patients, visitors and staff members."
Hospitals and other health care organizations are reporting significant increases in patients testing positive for influenza and others presenting in clinics, urgent care settings and emergency departments with flu-like symptoms. Volumes at some locations have exceeded those experienced during the height of the H1N1 outbreak in 2009.
"Everyone can make a difference to help reduce the spread of influenza and other illness by taking a few simple steps, including regularly washing your hands, covering your cough, staying home if you are sick and contacting your health care provider before going to a clinic or emergency department if you have flu-like symptoms," says Thoreson.