Flu Precautions: Visitor Restrictions

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Flu Precautions: Visitor Restrictions

Date: 02/09/17

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has characterized the flu virus as “widespread” in Montana, marking the highest level of flu activity. Like many areas in the state and nation, Helena is experiencing an influenza outbreak. Because St. Peter’s Hospital is experiencing high levels of contagious respiratory illness, it is limiting hospital visitors.  

“We want our patients to get well quickly and exposure to influenza and other communicable diseases could delay their recovery,” stated Dr. Donald Skillman, St. Peter’s Infectious Disease Physician.

For the protection of patients and staff, St. Peter’s requests that infants, children and people with colds or flu-like illnesses not visit at this time. 

Children under the age of 12 and anyone with the following symptoms must not visit patients in the hospital:

  • Fever 
  • Cough 
  • Sore Throat 
  • Runny Nose 
  • Nasal Congestion
  • Diarrhea

Visitors must use protective equipment as instructed by doctors and nurses.  People who have a cold, cough, or flu-like symptoms must wear a mask during their visit.  If you are visiting a loved one in the hospital, please remember to wash or sanitize your hands frequently to avoid getting sick, and to avoid getting someone else sick.

Visitors, especially children, may not know they have the flu. They may not be showing flu symptoms and can easily pass the flu on to others. Patients are in the hospital to get better and can get very sick from visitors who may only have mild flu symptoms.

Additional restrictions include: visitors must be limited to immediate family members or clergy; and only one or two visitors are allowed inside a patient's room. 

Siblings who do not have cold or flu symptoms may visit a new baby in the Women & Children’s Unit. 

Children 12 and under must be supervised by an adult at all times in public waiting areas and cafeterias.

Please express well wishes to patients by phone or card instead of making personal visits, or through email via this website address: https://www.stpetes.org/MessageAPatient. 

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