Iredell Health System is urging everyone to help protect patients from the flu as the virus spreads across North Carolina. Flu activity is on the rise locally and health officials say the flu is to blame for at least 20 deaths statewide this season thus far.
No additional visitor restrictions are currently in place at Iredell Memorial, but IHS is asking guests to consider not bringing children to the hospital to visit as a precaution. Also, IHS is asking members of the community not to visit the hospital if they are sick unless they are seeking treatment themselves.
"We will continue to monitor flu activity in the community to decide if and when guest restrictions are necessary," said Pam Gill, Director of Infection Control, adding that further restrictions are inevitable as flu season continues. "The flu is a dangerous virus and protecting our patients is our first priority."
At Iredell Memorial Hospital, patients and guests are asked to practice good respiratory hygiene, which includes frequent handwashing and covering their coughs. Respiratory hygiene stations at hospital entrances are stocked with hand sanitizer and tissues. Masks are available at every entrance for any guest who is ill or has not received a flu vaccine. Iredell Health System employees are required to receive the flu shot or wear a mask. Staff also follows protocols for infection control such as frequent handwashing.
"We ask that all visitors and patients that visit our hospital follow appropriate respiratory hygiene to prevent transmission of flu and other illnesses," said Gill. "We need cooperation from everyone to keep patients, staff and visitors safe."