Area hospitals place visiting restrictions due to flu activity

With flu activity now classified as regional, four area hospitals have adjusted visitation guidelines.

SSM Health St. Mary’s Hospital in Centralia and Good Samaritan Hospital in Mt. Vernon, Salem Township Hospital, and HSHS St. Joseph’s Hospital in Breese, area all asking people suffering from flu-like symptoms, such as high fever plus cough and or sore throat to not to visit.

They are also restricting visits to two visitors per patient and no visitors under the age of 18.

The rules are in accordance with the Illinois Department of Public Health and the Center for Disease Control and Protection.

The hospitals also encourage good hand hygiene. They note the best way to prevent the spread of influenza is to cover coughs and sneezes and to wash hands often, especially after coughing or sneezing into them.

Visitors are encouraged to take advantage of the “wellness stations” inside hospital entrances, which are equipped with hand sanitizer, masks, and tissue.

Area hospitals are seeing an increased number of positive results for Influenza A, indicating the flu is in the local area.