Lowcountry hospitals restrict visitation due to flu risk

CHARLESTON, BERKELEY, DORCHESTER COUNTIES, SC (WCBD) — Several hospitals in the tri-county region are restricting visitation and asking for caution when it comes to hospital visitation.

Friday evening, Trident Medical Center released this statement:

“Due to the increase and severity in flu-related illnesses in the Lowcountry Trident and Summerville Medical Centers are asking the public to consider the safety of their patients when visiting the hospitals.

Physicians are asking that guests with flu-like symptoms not visit the hospital during the flu season.  This is one of several steps being taken to help prevent people who are already sick from visiting patients at the hospital.

Trident emergency medicine physician Eric Wright, MD, says, “The restrictions we have put into place are necessary steps to create an environment that gives our patients the best opportunity to get better.”

Additionally, children under the age of 12 will not be allowed in patient rooms.  They can wait with adult supervision in public areas and waiting rooms.  And, only two visitors per patient will be allowed in patient rooms.”

Additionally, the Medical University of South Carolina released this statement:

“Due to the recent and rapid increase in local flu cases, MUSC Health is restricting visitors to its hospital facilities (University Hospital, Children’s Hospital, Ashley River Tower and the Institute of Psychiatry) to patients’ immediate family members only, including spouses, children and direct care givers, effective immediately. Children under the age of 12 are strongly discouraged from visiting the hospitals at this time. Patients scheduled for appointments or procedures in Rutledge Tower will be able to access that facility over the weekend as needed.

Access points to hospital facilities will also be limited to the main entrances at University Hospital, Institute of Psychiatry and Ashley River Tower. The Children’s Hospital may be accessed through the University Hospital entrance. As always, all visitors are required to show a photo ID upon arrival at the information and security desks in those locations. Each visitor will be asked a few questions to determine if he/she may have been exposed to the flu virus, and if exposed, will be required to wear a mask while visiting. If a visitor has been exposed but refuses to wear a mask, he/she will not be allowed to enter the facility.

We ask all visitors to our facilities to take special care in practicing good hygiene techniques while at the hospital, including frequent hand-washing or sanitizing.

These restrictions are effective immediately through Tuesday, Jan. 16, and will be reassessed at that time to determine if they need to remain in place.”

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