Mission Health is restricting visitors to its hospitals because of an increase in reported influenza-like illness throughout North Carolina. Only partners and immediate family members over the age of 12 will be permitted in patient care areas.
On Dec. 23, 2016, Mission Health asked friends and family of patients to limit visitations based on recommendations from Mission Health’s infection prevention department. However, the number of reported flu cases has continued to increase statewide triggering a threshold at which Mission Health will now further restrict visitations.
This precaution is being implemented at Mission Hospital and all Mission Health member hospitals and affiliates in western North Carolina including CarePartners in Asheville, McDowell Hospital in Marion, Transylvania Regional Hospital in Brevard, Blue Ridge Regional Hospital in Spruce Pine, Angel Medical Center in Franklin, and Highlands-Cashiers Hospital in Highlands.
“These restrictions are being imposed to protect the health of our patients and team members, and to minimize the spread of influenza throughout the community,” said Dr. William R. Hathaway, Chief Medical Officer. “We encourage other friends and family to call loved ones rather than visit them in the hospital to ensure their safety as we work toward our BIG(GER) Aim: to get each person to their desired outcome, first without harm, also without waste and with an exceptional experience for every patient, family and team member.”
As is best practice, all visitors are urged to wash their hands before and after visiting. Hand sanitizing stations are available at hospital entrances and throughout the buildings. People who have not yet received the influenza vaccine are urged to do so immediately and to ensure that their children have been vaccinated. However, children under 12 will not be permitted in patient care areas of the hospitals whether vaccinated or not.