April 20, 2018
As of Friday, April 20, 2018 St. Peter’s Health has lifted visitation restrictions due to a decrease in the number of positive influenza cases at the hospital and across the state. The number of confirmed cases at St. Peter’s Health has fallen by approximately 60 percent over the last week. The visitation restrictions were put in place in January in response to heightened flu activity. So far this season, the St. Peter’s Health laboratory has confirmed over 800 cases of influenza.
According to Dr. Shelly Harkins, St. Peter’s Health Chief Medical Officer, "This was a particularly long and severe flu season. The visitation restrictions were in place at the hospital to protect our patients, staff and the community by preventing the spread of the flu. We recognize the restrictions can be inconvenient, and we greatly appreciate the community’s cooperation and understanding.”
Although there has been a decrease in influenza activity, the virus is still present in the community. St. Peter’s Health asks that people experiencing flu-like symptoms refrain from visiting the hospital unless they are seeking care, and reminds the community to always practice proper hand hygiene to prevent the spread of illness.
According to the Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services (DPHHS), there have been 9,592 confirmed influenza cases this flu season with 938 hospitalizations and 57 deaths, including one pediatric death.
St. Peter’s Health
St. Peter’s Health is a system of health care services including a 123-bed acute care hospital, physician clinics, cancer treatment center, behavioral health unit, urgent care clinics, home health and hospice care, dialysis center and ambulance services. St. Peter’s Health serves the Helena region and southwest Montana counties of Lewis and Clark, Broadwater, Jefferson, Meagher and Powell, with a combined population of approximately 97,000 residents. The mission of St. Peter’s Health is to partner with patients and the community to provide exceptional and compassionate health care. For more information, visit sphealth.org.