Multiple hospitals in the metro-east have restricted who can visit patients because of a recent increase in flu cases in the emergency room and in admitted patients.
As of Wednesday, Anderson Hospital officials said certain visitors would not be allowed, including visitors with flu-like symptoms, such as a cough or runny nose. All Memorial Hospital locations, including the Belleville and Shiloh facilities, have implemented similar restrictions.
Memorial Hospital is recommending anyone with fever, cough or sore throat refrain from visiting patients. The hospital is only allowing two visitors per patient while the restrictions are in place. Only immediate family are allowed to visit patients sick with the flu. Hand-sanitizer and face masks are also available at all entrances under recommendations issued by the Illinois Department of Public Health.
At Anderson Hospital, no visitors under the age of 18 will be allowed on patient floors and visitors in the birthing center are limited to baby’s siblings and four other visitors determined by the mother.
Lisa Klaustermeier, chief nursing officer at Anderson Hospital, said in a news release that hospital staff “cannot risk subjecting them to the flu and other cold viruses.”
“We regret any inconveniences, but the health of our patients is our priority,” Klaustermeier said in the release.
From Dec. 10 to Dec. 16, flu cases were considered “widespread” by the Illinois Department of Public Health, meaning there was an increase in at least half the state’s regions. In that period, 44 patients statewide were admitted to intensive care units for flu treatment. In the Edwardsville region during that period, there were nine institutional outbreaks, which are defined as schools, hospitals, nursing homes or prisons.
The release did not specify when the restrictions would be lifted, but suggested visitors check with the hospital to ask about updated restrictions before visiting. Anderson Hospital can be reached at 618-288-5711.
St. Elizabeth’s Hospital in O’Fallon did not have any visitor restrictions in place, but urged visitors with flu-like symptoms to refrain from visiting the hospital. They also suggested a maximum of two visitors per patient.