Limiting visitors to help keep patients healthy

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 Casey Benson, BS, MS, infection preventionist at Carle. “These temporary changes protect patients, staff and visitors and remain in place until the threat of flu diminishes.”

Only healthy visitors without signs and symptoms of illness or with recent exposure to illness can visit. Visitors will be screened daily for diarrhea, vomiting, fever, sore throat, cough, runny nose, cold, respiratory illness, rash and wound infection.

Carle has adopted the following Illinois Department of Public Health recommendations 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. 


Additional guidelines exist in women’s and children’s areas to keep our smallest patients and new mothers healthy.

“We understand the excitement that families have in welcoming a new baby or concern we share when kiddos are in the hospital, but limiting visitors helps to keep women, children and babies healthy,” said Chantel Ellis, MSN, Women’s and Children’s Services director.

In Labor & Delivery and Postpartum inpatient areas:

  • All visitors must be healthy with no symptoms of cold, flu or other illness.
  • Five designated adult support people are allowed, and they must wear armbands. Armbands are not interchangeable.
  • Healthy siblings of the baby under 18 years are allowed and do not require wristbands.
  • Child siblings of the baby may not spend the night.

In the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU):

  • All visitors must be healthy with no symptoms of cold, flu or other illness.
  • Six designated adult support people are allowed, to include the visiting mother.
  • Only visitors with pink (primary caregivers, a total of two badges) and green (support members, a total four) badges will be allowed into the unit. Badges are not interchangeable.
  • Only four designated adults may visit at a time.
  • Those under 18 years are not allowed to visit.

In Inpatient Pediatrics:

  • All visitors must be healthy with no symptoms of cold, flu or other illness.
  • Two designated caregivers will be allowed 24-hour access to the patient. All other visitors may visit between 9 a.m. and 9 p.m.
  • Healthy siblings of the child under 18 years are allowed.
  • Child siblings of the child may not spend the night.
  • No visitors under 18 years will be allowed in common areas.

Infection Prevention will continue to monitor influenza, RSV and enterovirus in the area and will update visitor guidelines as needed. If you have questions or concerns, please contact your provider.

“We encourage parents and family members to practice good hand hygiene and to get their flu shot as additional precautions to keep their loved ones safe this season,” Benson said.