The flu epidemic sweeping the country is definitely being felt in Northern Virginia, with hospital emergency rooms reporting a spike in patients coming in with flu-like symptoms.
In the wake of the increase in flu cases in Northern Virginia, Inova hospitals are putting restrictions on visitors, the hospital system announced Friday.
"As part of our vision to optimize the health and well-being of each individual we serve, Inova hospitals will be instituting specific visitation measures in response to continued regional Influenza infection," said spokesman Tony Raker, in the release.
"These measures, designed to protect patients, visitors and staff from exposure to influenza, are in effect system wide at all Inova hospital inpatient units," he said.
These measures include:
- No visitors under the age of 18
- No visitors with any symptoms of influenza-like illness
- Two blocks of visiting hours – from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. and from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.
- Visitors will be limited to two persons
- Visitors may be issued masks or other protective clothing for use when visiting
- For Women’s and Children’s Units as well as Adult Critical Care and Oncology patients additional measures may apply.
- Patient care companions are exempt
“These temporary measures will help protect against influenza infection of the most vulnerable among us, including inpatients with compromised immune systems as well as our caregivers,” observed Dr. Loring Flint, Inova’s Chief Medical Officer, in the release.
“We appreciate everyone’s consideration and cooperation as, together, we work to assure the health and safety of our community during this challenging flu season," he said.
Inova hospitals are located in Alexandria, Fairfax, Falls Church, Loudoun County and Mount Vernon.
For information on getting a flu shot, see:
NoVA Flu Cases at Three Times Normal Rate