Visitation Guidelines Tightened Due to Flu

VINCENNES, Ind. – In response to the increase of influenza infections in the area, Good Samaritan is tightening its visitation guidelines for the protection of its patients and employees. To help limit the spread of the flu the visitation guidelines below, recommended by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), will be as follows:

  • No visitors with influenza-like symptoms. These include cough, sore throat, fever,
    chills, aches, runny or stuffy nose, and vomiting or diarrhea.
  • No visitors under the age of 15.
  • No visitors other than the immediate family, partner, or significant other
    (immediate family is defined as parents or legal guardians, step-parents, siblings
    and children age 15 or over, husband or wife).
  • Exceptions may be made for cases involving critically ill patients and end-of-life
    situations.

With influenza season starting earlier and cases on the increase, these guidelines are being enforced for the safety of patients and staff. “Taking steps to prevent infections saves lives, and it is the responsible thing to do in the interest of our community,” states Robin McDonald, RN, Infection Preventionist. “These policies are designed to protect those at greatest risk during the flu season. The time frame of these visitation restrictions is uncertain at this point, and will be evaluated on a daily basis.”

Not only are visitors being asked to follow new guidelines when it comes to the flu, but Good Samaritan employees are as well. Employees have been directed to stay home if they are sick with a flu-like illness and must not return to work until they are symptom free for 24 hours.

Those who feel ill are encouraged to stay home, unless complications require them to seek medical attention. “The health of our patients and the community is Good Samaritan’s highest concern,” stated Karen Haak, Chief Nursing Officer. “To help limit the spread of germs and the flu, individuals should avoid close contact with sick people, wash their hands often, cover coughs and sneezes with tissues or an upper arm sleeve, refrain from touching hands to face, and get a yearly seasonal flu vaccine.”

If there is a sick person in the home, they should be confined to a room separate from the common areas of the house, and if possible, use a separate bathroom than the other household members. It is best to have one person, who is not at high risk for infection, to be the designated caretaker of the sick person. The sick person should wear a mask when in the presence of others. Be sure to disinfect and clean the home to kill the flu germs.

It is not too late to get the flu vaccine, as well as pneumonia. Those needing the vaccines can contact their physician or Good Samaritan Community Health Services. The vaccines are available for adults and are offered Monday through Friday 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. The Community Health office is located at the corner of Seventh and Dubois streets in Vincennes. Those who are interested in getting the vaccine for their children will need to contact the Knox County Health Department for an appointment.

For groups of 10 or more, such as employees at a business, who need the vaccines, Community Health nurses can bring the vaccines to the business for administration. For more information about the vaccines, call 812-885-8753.

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ABOUT GOOD SAMARITAN
Good Samaritan, Knox County’s largest employer, is licensed for 239 in-house patients. Annually, Good Samaritan Hospital has more than 440,000 outpatient visits and an additional 35,000 plus visits to its emergency room. The hospital offers a wide scope of medical services. From thoracic surgery to the birth of a baby, this growing health care provider balances quality patient care with preventive education to fulfill its mission. Consistently ranked in the top 10 percent in the nation in patient satisfaction, Good Samaritan Hospital provides a superb level of care while maintaining fiscal integrity and expanding facilities to meet the needs of the community. For more information, visit www.gshvin.org.

Mission: Provide excellent health care and promote healing through trusting relationships.
Vision: To be recognized as the regional center of excellence for health care.

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