DALLAS -- Effective immediately, Salem Health is limiting visitors at West Valley Hospital in Dallas and Salem Hospital to protect patients from the flu virus.
“We’re asking our patients’ families and friends to help protect our patients from the flu by staying home if they’re ill," said Kristen Myers, director of patient safety and clinical support. “Patients admitted to hospitals are especially vulnerable to the influenza virus and susceptible to serious complications from the flu.”
The following restrictions are now in effect:
- Only people needed to give support to and care for patients should visit.
- People who are sick -- or those who have been in contact with someone who is sick -- should not visit, even if they are not sick now. (It’s possible to spread the flu virus one to seven days before you know you are ill.)
“These steps can help reduce the spread of influenza, which can be particularly troublesome for people with chronic conditions, the elderly or very young,” said Myers.
Since Dec. 28, Salem Hospital has admitted nine patients who tested positive for the flu virus. “We anticipate that flu activity will continue to increase and want to implement visitor restrictions to reduce the spread of the flu virus,” she said.
All visitors are asked to follow good hand hygiene practices and cough etiquette, said Myers. That includes washing hands and/or using alcohol-based hand gel, covering coughs or sneezing with a tissue or into their sleeve, using facemasks and limiting travel within the hospital as much as possible.
Hospital staff have masks, tissues and hand hygiene supplies readily available and will advise patients’ families of the new guidelines. Signs will also be posted at hospital entrances.