Sterling, IL (February 13, 2017) You may have noticed that more people in the community are coming down with the flu this year. Over the past month, there has been a rise in the number of patients visiting the CGH Medical Center Emergency Department and our outpatient clinics due to this illness, which is why our temporary visitor restrictions continue to be in place.
The flu is easily and most often spread as a result of coughs or sneezes. Believe it or not, a sneeze from one person with the flu can spread up to 20,000 flu germs into the air.
At CGH Medical Center, the safety and well-being of our patients, visitors and staff is our highest priority. That is why we’ve taken several important steps to help prevent the spread of influenza in our hospital and clinics, and to ensure everyone’s safety during what is proving to be a very busy influenza season. While we realize these temporary steps may result in some inconvenience to family members and other visitors, we appreciate your understanding and support.
The steps put in place include the following:
· Please limit visitors to 2 adults per patient at any time. Limiting the number of visitors per patient will help control the spread of the illness.
· Please do not bring your children on hospital visits. Since children are more likely to get sick and spread influenza, visitors under the age of 18 are not allowed to visit. Our staff will only allow children under the age of 18 to visit in special cases with prior approval from the patients’ healthcare team.
· Please wash your hands frequently. Please make sure you clean your hands when entering and leaving the patients room by washing with soap and water or rubbing your hands together with hand sanitizer which is located in every patient room.
· Please do not visit the hospital if you have symptoms of the flu. Signs of the flu include fever, cough, sneezing, runny nose or sore throat.
· If you haven’t already, get the flu vaccine. Getting the simple shot can help increase your chances of staying healthy and avoid getting others sick.
· Patients coming to the CGH ED or outpatient clinics with influenza symptoms will be asked to wear a mask.
In case you forget some of these steps, don’t worry - our staff will be giving you gentle reminders to make sure we are all doing what we can to keep everyone as healthy as possible.
Together, we can prevent the spread of the flu in our hospital and our community this season. Thank you for your cooperation and support.