Western Plains Medical Complex has set a visitation restriction during the flu season lasting through April 2020 because of a seasonal flu outbreak in the area, according to Western Plains.

“Due to high levels of respiratory viruses in the community, Western Plains Medical Complex is implementing seasonal influenza precautions,” Scott Smith, CEO of Western Plains, said in a news release.

The restrictions ask the following individuals not to visit during this time: children under 12 years of age, pregnant women and people with chronic lung diseases, with an exception to the Family Birth Center only, which will only allow siblings of newborns to visit the new family members.

The restrictions aim to ensure the safety and well-being of patients as well as help prevent the spread of infection.

Western Plains also has set the following restrictions:

• Limit the number of visitors to three per patient.

• If you have flu-like symptoms, such as fever, cough or runny nose, do not visit.

• Remember to wash your hands before entering and exiting a patient’s room and after leaving the hospital.

• If you are in the hospital for tests or procedures and have a flu-like illness (fever over 100 degrees with cough or sore throat), ask for a mask.

Western Plains also says the best ways to protect against the flu are to:

• Get vaccinated — it is not too late to get a vaccination.

• Practice good health habits.

• Avoid close contact with others.

• Stay home when sick.

• Practice good hand hygiene.

• Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue and avoid touching your eyes or mouth.

• Take flu antiviral drugs if prescribed by a physician.

• Be diligent with your own hand hygiene practices in an effort to keep yourself well.

“Western Plains is committed to protecting its patients, employees and volunteers, and limiting the further spread of influenza in our community,” Smith said.

For more information about the flu and effective prevention methods, visit www.cdc.gov/flu/.


To contact the writer, email vmarshall@dodgeglobe.com.