The flu & other viral illnesses are currently widespread in the community; and when sick people visit our patients, they put both our staff and our patients at risk for infection.
Due to the high number of flu cases in our area, we have implemented widespread visitor restrictions throughout the entire WakeMed hospital system beginning Friday, January 11. We urge you to stay home if you are sick or feeling ill. Specifically, the visitation restrictions policy are as follows:
During flu season, no children under age 12 are allowed in patient care areas. Visitation restrictions are in place to protect the health and safety of our patients, visitors and staff.
Visitor Restrictions FAQs
We realize that having visitation restrictions may be inconvenient to you and your family. However, we do this in the best interests of our patients and staff to keep our most vulnerable populations safe from infection/illness. That said, we’d like to take a moment to address some of the most common questions we receive related to visitation restrictions. Should you have any further questions about our temporary visitation restrictions, please speak with your provider or other medical staff member.
How was 12 and under chosen as the restricted age range?
Children under the age of 12 are much more likely to be carriers of respiratory virus due to their less-than-perfect hygiene practices and close proximity to others who may be sick.
Children are well-known for not washing their hands frequently and for putting many things in their mouths that adults never would. Additionally, close proximity and extended contact with large numbers of other children in school or daycare, makes them particularly likely to contract flu and pass it on to others.
Why is my child not allowed to visit? He/she is not sick.
Some infections – including flu – are actually contagious for a full day before they show symptoms. This means your child may feel and act completely fine, but be highly contagious. In fact, it is during this period that individuals are most contagious.
Are exceptions ever made to the visitation restrictions, and if so, how do I get approval for an exception?
Exceptions are made in very, very rare instances – primarily for bereavement purposes. All exceptions must be brought to Infection Prevention for approval by the Medical Director of Infection Prevention and the hospital Chief Medical Officer.
When will the visitation restrictions be lifted?
We closely monitor the prevalence of flu and other respiratory viruses circulating in the community. Usually the amount of illnesses in the community starts to decline in early March. We will lift visitation restrictions as soon as we safely can.
What Do Flu Symptoms Look Like?
If you or someone you know is experiencing flu-like symptoms, please let us know right away. Symptoms may include:
- Sore throat
- Nasal drainage
- Stuffy head
- Diarrhea/Vomiting within the past 24-hours
Wash Your Hands!
One of the best ways to prevent the spread of the flu is to keep your hands clean! Clean your hands with soap and water or alcohol hand gel before entering patient areas.