Saginaw-area hospitals impose visitor restrictions due to flu activity

Covenant HealthCare
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SAGINAW (WJRT) (1/16/2018) - Visitor restrictions are in place at two Saginaw hospitals due to a spread of influenza activity in Mid-Michigan.

St. Mary's of Michigan and Covenant HealthCare both announced the restrictions on Tuesday. Effective immediately, only healthy immediate family members will be allowed in the facilities until further notice.

Nobody suffering from fever, cough, colds, or stomach virus symptoms will be allowed in the hospitals unless they are seeking treatment for themselves.

“More than 100 positive influenza cases have been reported to the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services in the last week and we have treated many inpatients with influenza,” said Bethany Guerrero, Covenant's Infection Prevention Program lead.

She said the decision to limit visitors was not easy and came in consultation with public health officials.

“We understand that visits from friends and family is an important part of the healing process, but even minor colds can be harmful to patients with weakened immune systems,” Guerrero said. “We certainly don’t want to risk exposing patients to respiratory illnesses. We need your help in educating visitors who do not feel well, to save their visit for another time.”

The visitor restrictions will be lifted when hospital officials and local public health officials are satisfied that the amount of influenza activity is below an acceptable level.

Both St. Mary's and Covenant offered the following tips to avoid contracting the flu:
• Wash hands often with soap and water for 20 seconds or use alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
• Avoid touching eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.
• Cover coughs.
• Avoid sharing items with those who are sick.
• Disinfect frequently touched surfaces.

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