COOKEVILLE – Cookeville Regional Medical Center (CRMC) is implementing precautionary measures to help prevent the spread of flu within the hospital until further notice.
Effective Tuesday, Dec. 2, visitors age 16 and under will not be permitted to visit patients. Children in this age group are a high source of flu transmission. The exception will be in the Birthing Center where siblings of newborns will be permitted to visit with their family.
This visitor restriction is implemented each year at CRMC during flu season based on Centers for Disease Control (CDC) guidelines.
Other restrictions during flu season include:
• Any visitor with symptoms of flu (cough, fever, etc.) must wear a mask upon entering the facility.
• In the emergency room, patients coming in with fever or cough will be required to wear a mask.
• Children under the age of 16 will not be permitted to visit patients. (Exception: siblings of newborns in the Birthing Center)
• Persons with flu-like symptoms are asked not to visit the hospital for their safety as well as the safety of patients.
Adults and those over the age of 16 should also carefully consider the risks of visiting family or friends in the hospital since the risk of contracting the flu is likely to be much higher when exposed to concentrations of sick people as one might encounter in a hospital setting.
In a press release, CRMC said it is enforcing these precautions in the best interest of patients and the community as a whole to help prevent the spread of influenza in the community. It also issued a reminder that the best way to prevent the spread of infection is through proper hand washing.
To help in flu prevention, other recommendations include:
• Get a flu shot. CDC recommends the flu vaccination for everyone 6 months and older annually.
• Get the flu shot early because it takes a couple weeks for your body to build antibodies from the vaccine. The flu shot cannot cause influenza.
• Frequent hand washing: Using soap and water – rub for 15-20 seconds or rub your hands and sing happy birthday twice.
• Alcohol-based hand sanitizer: Use at least the size of a dime, rub until completely dry. Be sure the sanitizer is at least 60 percent alcohol.
• Frequent cleaning of high-touch surfaces such as door knobs and phones.