INDIANA (WLFI) — Starting on Thursday, Dec. 28, Franciscan Health will be putting visitor restrictions in place to combat the spread of illness.
The heathcare provider has recently seen a large spike in patients with the flu.
In November doctors saw only thirteen cases and already in December, they have seen 200.
Doctors and staff are trying to combat the spread of the disease in their facilities by taking some precautions.
"To cut down on the transmission here at Franciscan Health Lafayette we are trying to limit the number of patients coming into patients rooms here at the ER. If you are exhibiting any flu-like symptoms at all we're trying not to let you back in. If you're coughing we try and get you a mask and as usual, we try and promote a lot of hand washing," said Dr. Andrew Alaimo, Emergency Room Physician at Franciscan Health Lafayette.
The restrictions apply to their facilities in Crawfordsville, Rensselaer and Lafayette. This includes the Lafayette East and Lafayette Central campuses.
The restrictions will include the following requirements:
· Visitors should clean their hands upon entering and leaving the hospital and patients' rooms using hand sanitizer, foam or by washing hands with soap and water. Hand sanitizer, tissues and masks will be posted at the main entrances to the facilities.
· Only two healthy adults will be allowed to visit a patient at any one time.
· Visitors who have flu-like symptoms, such as fever, cough, chills or muscle aches, will not be allowed. Franciscan Health officials are asking visitors to "self-screen" for these symptoms.
· Patients with flu-like symptoms will be asked to wear a surgical or isolation mask. These can be located at the various entrances.
Nurse directors and managers can help determine when exceptions for special circumstances can be made.
Signage alerting visitors to the restrictions will be posted throughout facilities.
At IU Health Arnett, spokesperson Rhonda Jones said “We have restrictions for our NICU to prevent sick folks from visiting our babies. We do not have a general visitor restriction for others. We always encourage folks not to visit if they are sick.”
She said IU Health also has hand-hygiene, washing materials and maks available. She pointed out that hand-hygiene is the best way to stop the spread of flu.
For more information about the flu, click here.