Carolinas HealthCare System Revises Visitation Policy Due to Flu

01.10.2018 Neuroscience | Atrium Health News

CHARLOTTE, NC (January 11, 2018) – Effective at 7 a.m. on Friday, January 12, 2018. Carolinas HealthCare System is restricting hospital access for visitors 12 years old and under at all of its Charlotte region in-patient hospitals. The tighter restrictions are a result of the growing prevalence of flu cases in the region. 

Carolinas HealthCare System is joining Novant Health, Cone Health and Wake Forest Baptist Health in implementing the restrictions at the same date and time to prevent confusion among the public and to avoid a patchwork of varying restrictions. This unified response helps better control the spread of flu throughout the region. 

Hospitals affected by the tighter visitation policy are: Carolinas Medical Center, Levine Children’s Hospital, Carolinas Medical Center-Mercy, Carolinas HealthCare System NorthEast, Carolinas HealthCare System Pineville, Carolinas HealthCare System Union, Carolinas HealthCare System University, Carolinas HealthCare System Lincoln, Carolinas HealthCare System Cleveland, Carolinas HealthCare System Kings Mountain, Carolinas HealthCare System Blue Ridge, Carolinas HealthCare System Stanly, Carolinas HealthCare System Anson, Carolinas HealthCare System Behavioral Health-Charlotte, Carolinas HealthCare System Behavioral Health-Davidson, Carolinas Rehabilitation-Charlotte, Carolinas Rehabilitation-NorthEast, Carolinas Rehabilitation-Mt. Holly, and Pineville Inpatient Rehabilitation.

Carolinas HealthCare System is also asking individuals of all ages who are experiencing flu-like symptoms to help control the spread of the illness by not visiting patients in the hospital. Symptoms include: fever, headaches/body aches/pain, cough or sore throat, stuffy or runny nose, chills, fatigue, nausea, vomiting and/or diarrhea.

If extraordinary circumstances require an individual with flu-like symptoms to visit a hospital patient, the visitor will be asked to wear a surgical mask to protect themselves and others.

To reduce the odds of getting the flu, Carolinas HealthCare System recommends frequent hand washing with soap or use of an alcohol-based hand sanitizer, not touching eyes, nose or mouth with hands, and getting a flu shot. 

Most people with the flu have mild illness and do not need medical care. If you have flu symptoms, in most cases you should stay home and avoid contact with other people. Flu sufferers should rest, drink fluids and take ibuprofen or acetaminophen to reduce minor pain or fever. 

If symptoms are severe enough to require a visit to a healthcare provider, a physician’s office, urgent care center or virtual visit may be the best option to minimize wait times in the emergency department. The emergency department should only be used for people who are very sick such as those with difficulty breathing, chest pain, confusion, severe vomiting or signs of dehydration. Wait times for Carolinas HealthCare System urgent care centers and emergency departments are available here.