Flu season

VISITOR RESTRICTIONS INCREASED — Haywood Regional Medical Center increased visitor restrictions at the hospital, due to the rise in reported influenza-like illnesses throughout the region.

Effective immediately, Haywood Regional Medical Center (HRMC) will increase visitor restrictions at the hospital due to the rise in reported influenza-like illnesses throughout the region.

This means that only partners and immediate family members older than 12, with no type of illness, will be allowed to visit hospital patients. These restrictions are put in place for the safety of patients and visitors.

As part of visitor restrictions, HRMC asks:

• Only immediate family members visit patients

• All children 12 and under not visit the hospital

• Pregnant women and people with chronic lung diseases not visit the hospital

• All visitors wash or sanitize their hands before and after visiting patients/entering or leaving the hospital

• All adults refrain from visiting if they feel ill or have any of the following symptoms: headache, muscle aches, cough, fever, sore throat and runny or stuffy nose

• Anyone with symptoms wear a mask if they must visit the hospital or a physician’s office

“North Carolina has seen nine flu-associated deaths from Dec. 29 – Jan. 4, and the regional percentage of flu-like Illness has risen from a baseline of 2.4 percent to 8.1 percent as of the last report, dated Dec. 28,” said Susan Mahoney, chief nursing officer at HRMC. “We hope these restrictions will help prevent additional cases in our community.”

The best ways to protect against the flu are to:

• Get vaccinated. It is not too late to get a vaccination.

• Practice good health habits. Avoid close contact with others; stay home when sick; practice good hand hygiene; cover your nose and mouth with a tissue; and avoid touching your eyes or mouth.

• If prescribed by a physician, take flu antiviral drugs.

HRMC is committed to protecting its patients, employees and volunteers, and limiting the further spread of influenza in our community. For information about the flu and effective prevention methods, visit www.cdc.gov/flu/.

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