Smart steps help reduce hospital patients' flu risk

Due to increasing cases of flu in the area, Carle Foundation Hospital and Carle Hoopeston Regional Health Center are extending temporary visitor guidelines for all hospital patients. For the safety of patients, visitors and staff, there will be a maximum of two visitors allowed in a patient’s room at a time.

“The safety of our patients, visitors and staff is always our top priority,” said Taffy Creviston, MPH, CIC, senior infection preventionist at Carle.

“With these temporary changes our patients, staff and visitors have less of a chance to catch or spread the flu,” Creviston explained.

“These visitor guidelines will be lifted when the threat of flu diminishes.”

The pediatrics areas in the hospital have had visitor guidelines for patient safety since November. 

Carle has adopted the following guidelines to help protect patients and visitors from exposure to the flu:

  • Those under age 18 should not visit the hospital.
  • Two visitors at a time should be in a patient room.
  • Visitors with respiratory illness should not visit the hospital, or wear a mask if they must visit.
  • If a patient is in isolation because of flu, limit the visitors who are vital to the patient’s emotional well-being and care.
  • Visitors should cough or sneeze into a tissue and throw away that tissue immediately.
  • Visitors should wash hands with soap and water or hand sanitizer after blowing the nose or coughing or sneezing. 

Carle encourages members of the public to get a flu vaccination if they haven’t done so. Even at this late date, a vaccine will protect patients from the flu virus.