CHARLOTTE, N.C. - Novant Health announced Tuesday they're requesting that the community keep visitors age 12 and under out of all acute care facilities due to "the widespread outbreak of the flu virus throughout the community." The restriction is effective Wednesday, Jan. 8, at 7 a.m. until further notice.
Individuals age 13 and over who are experiencing a runny nose, sore throat, fever or cough are also encouraged not to visit patients being treated at Novant Health facilities, Novant Health said. People who are seeking treatment at hospitals are not subject to the restriction.
“The flu virus can be extremely dangerous to people who have compromised immune systems, cancer, kidney disease, and other chronic conditions,” said Dr. Eric Eskioglu, executive vice president and chief medical officer, Novant Health, in a written statement. “In order to protect our patients, we are asking members of the public who are 12 years and under or who may be sick with the influenza virus to not visit these facilities at this time.”
The restrictions apply to the following hospitals throughout the Novant Health system:
- Novant Health Brunswick Medical Center
- Novant Health Charlotte Orthopedic Hospital
- Novant Health Clemmons Medical Center
- Novant Health Forsyth Medical Center
- Novant Health Hemby Children’s Hospital
- Novant Health Huntersville Medical Center
- Novant Health Kernersville Medical Center
- Novant Health Matthews Medical Center
- Novant Health Medical Park Hospital
- Novant Health Mint Hill Medical Center
- Novant Health Presbyterian Medical Center
- Novant Health Rowan Medical Center
- Novant Health Thomasville Medical Center
- Novant Health UVA Health System Prince William Medical Center
- Novant Health UVA Health System Haymarket Medical Center
- Novant Health UVA Health System Culpeper Medical Center
All visitors to any of these facilities should properly disinfect their hands by washing with soap and water or using sanitizing gel when entering and leaving the facilities in order to prevent the spread of the flu virus, Novant Health said.
"Children may be allowed access to hospital areas in the event of special circumstances such as visiting a dying family member. In these instances, parents should work with their nurse to make arrangements," health officials told FOX 46.
The restrictions were a joint decision among regional hospitals including Novant Health, Atrium Health, Blue Ridge Health, CaroMont Health, Cone Health, Randolph Health, and Wake Forest Baptist Health.