GHS initiates visitor restrictions in response to rising flu levels

Because of rapidly spreading flu in the Upstate, visitation to patients at Greenville Health System hospitals is restricted for persons under 18 years of age except under special circumstances. Children approved to visit will be asked to wear masks to help prevent transmission of possible respiratory illness. Flu and other contagious respiratory illnesses can unknowingly be transmitted for several days prior to the first symptoms appearing.

The visitation precaution will continue until the level of flu abates in our communities.

Regardless of age, GHS asks that visitors suffering from respiratory illness delay visiting patients until such time as their symptoms are resolved.

GHS reported more than 623 positive flu cases for the week ending Dec. 31, with 34 people being admitted to a GHS hospital in that time frame. The S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control reported nine deaths statewide as of Dec. 30.

“Flu levels are increasing throughout our area, and we need to take these additional steps to help protect the health and safety of our patients,” said Robin LaCroix, MD, medical director of GHS Children’s Hospital. “Flu can cause serious complications and even cause death. We ask that everyone continue to take steps to help keep themselves healthy over the flu season, including getting flu shots and practicing good hand hygiene such as frequent hand washing. We appreciate everyone’s help in helping protect our patients as well as the community at large.”

The additional precaution is being taken at all hospitals throughout GHS, including Greenville Memorial Hospital, Children’s Hospital, Greer Memorial Hospital. Hillcrest Memorial Hospital, Laurens Memorial Hospital, North Greenville Hospital, Patewood Memorial Hospital and Oconee Memorial Hospital, as well as Baptist Easley and Lila Doyle.

All visitors are urged to wash their hands before and after their visits. In addition, hand-sanitizing stations are available at hospital entrances and throughout the buildings.

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