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Hospitals establish restrictions to avoid flu

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Peoria-area hospitals want the public to limit visits to patients for the foreseeable future to limit exposure Proctor and Pekin Hospital.

The hospitals on Friday issued guidelines that will take effect Monday, Jan. 12. The guidelines are based on recommendations from the Illinois Department of Health and are aimed at limiting exposure for patients, their families and hospital staff, the release said.

“These procedures are currently voluntary but may be changed as necessary to reflect community health concerns,” the release said.

Effective January 12, 2015, it is requested that:

  • Visitors should be at least 18 years of age and older. This will minimize exposure of patients to children, who are known to be high risk for transmission of viral infections, and will protect children from contracting an illness while visiting the hospital.  
  • Please do not visit hospitalized patients if you are not feeling well, particularly if you have had flu-like symptoms during the past seven days. Symptoms include a fever of 100 degrees Fahrenheit or higher, cough, and/or sore throat. 
  • Remember to cough and/or sneeze into your arm or shoulder or use a tissue. The spread of germs can be reduced by coughing into your clothing. Avoid covering your mouth with your hands, as the germs can easily be passed through direct contact with surfaces or people. 

To assist in limiting the spread of disease, please wash your hands with soap and water or use an alcohol-based hand foam/gel when entering and leaving a patient’s room.

“We are aware of the restrictive nature of these guidelines; however, we believe this voluntary request is in the best interest of patients’ health and safety,” the release said.

For tips on staying healthy during flu season, visit http://www.cdc.gov/flu/protect/habits.htm