January 15, 2018
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has characterized the flu virus as “widespread” in Montana, which indicates the highest level of flu activity. St. Peter’s Health is seeing increased influenza activity in the Helena region and has instituted visitor restrictions within the Regional Medical Center (formally called 'St. Peter's Hospital') effective today.
According to Dr. Shelly Harkins, Chief Medical Officer, “although the flu is common, it can be deadly. We are putting these visitation restrictions in place because the safety of our patients is our top priority.”
While the restrictions are in effect, children under the age of 12 and anyone with the following symptoms are restricted from visiting patients, employees or others at the hospital:
• Sore Throat
• Runny Nose
If you are visiting a loved one in the hospital, please remember to wash or sanitize your hands frequently to avoid getting sick, or 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. Many patients in the hospital have compromised immune systems can get very sick from visitors who may only have mild flu symptoms.
Those who fall into the restricted categories, but wish to visit patients in end-of-life care will follow safety protocols while they are in the facility, including masking and hand washing.
Please express well wishes to patients by phone or card instead of making personal visits, or through email via this website address: https://www.sphealth.org/MessageAPatient.
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.