Effective immediately, visitors under 18 are now allowed access to public areas of Parma Community General Hospital and also are permitted to visit patients.
“H1N1 Flu activity has lessened and there are currently low levels of flu activity in general,” says Eva Szathmary, MD, director, Division of Infectious Diseases.
Restrictions were put into place on October 23, 2009 as a proactive measure to protect patients, visitors and staff during a period of heightened H1N1 flu activity. Under the temporary visitation restrictions, no visitors under 18 were permitted in the hospital – unless they themselves were seeking treatment – as children and adolescents are considered more susceptible to the H1N1 virus and therefore more likely to be carriers. Additionally, patients were urged to limit their visitors.
“The H1N1 restrictions were put into place for the safety of our patients, visitors and staff,” says Patricia Ruflin, president and CEO of Parma Hospital. “The risk of infection has been reduced with this decrease in flu activity, so Parma Hospital can again help make patients feel more at home and comfortable with their family members at their bedside.”
Flu season itself continues through March. Good hand hygiene and keeping visitors to a minimum are still recommended. It is still advised that anyone with flu-like symptoms, or who has been ill in the past seven days, refrain from visiting patients in the hospital. The H1N1 visitation restrictions could be re-implemented if another significant wave of the flu strikes the area.