Visitation Guidelines Implemented at Area Hospitals to Combat Flu, Infectious Diseases
December 28, 2018—Visitation guidelines are taking effect Monday, December 31, at several regional hospitals to further protect patients from influenza and other infectious diseases following a declaration by the New  York State Commission of Health that the flu is now prevalent in certain communities.
Hospitals implementing the restrictions on Monday include Albany Med, Columbia Memorial Hospital and Saratoga Hospital.  Hospitals that had already implemented the restrictions include St. Peter's Health Partners acute care hospitals including Albany Memorial Hospital, Samaritan Hospital, St. Mary's Hospital (Troy), St. Peter's Hospital, and Sunnyview Rehabilitation Hospital.
The restrictions include the following:
  • A maximum of two visitors will be permitted in a patient's room at any one time.
  • Children 12 and under will be prohibited from visiting patients' rooms, as they are more likely to have and transmit respiratory infections.
  • Visitors with rash, diarrhea or respiratory symptoms will be prohibited from visiting patients. These symptoms include fever, sore throat, cough, shortness of breath.
The hospitals also are urging all visitors to use hand-washing stations before entering and upon leaving a patient's room. Hand sanitizers are available at many hospital entrances and at many other locations throughout these hospitals, including the doorways of many patient rooms.  Some hospitals have special care units or physical layouts which may have additional visitation restrictions or modifications.
Hospital officials advised that it is still important to get the flu vaccine, as it offers protection against other circulating strains and will reduce the likelihood of severe illness.
The same guidelines announced today were developed and temporarily implemented in previous years to address influenza outbreaks. These temporary restrictions are intended to help limit the transmission of the virus and protect the health and safety of patients and the professionals who provide their care during the outbreak.
Peter M. Hopper
Director, Marketing and Communications
28 Dec 2018