New Hampton, Iowa – Two hospitals in the tri-county area have put visitor restrictions in place in an effort to curb the spread of influenza.
Influenza has been spreading throughout North and northeast Iowa and hospitals are trying to protect both the patient and the visitor.
Mercy Medical Center in New Hampton on Friday went to a Level Two visitation restriction. Public Relations Director Jenny Monteith said the Level Two restriction means visitors with respiratory and influenza-like symptoms are restricted from visiting hospitalized patients. Further, OB visitation is currently being restricted to significant others and grandparents. Children will not be allowed to enter the OB unit.
Mitchell County Regional Health in Osage implemented a Level 3 visitor restriction on Friday. Included in those restrictions mean adult patients may have only their spouse or significant other visiting the patient and no visitors under the age of 18 will be allowed to visit a patient until the restriction is lifted. As well, patient care providers at Mitchell County Regional Health are being told that they must wear a face mask, gown and gloves while caring for patients with influenza.
As of Friday, February 17th, Floyd County Medical Center in Charles City had not implemented a visitor restriction policy.
Influenza symptoms include cough, sore throat, fever, chills, runny nose, vomiting and diarrhea. As of February 4th, 28 people in the state of Iowa have died from the influenza virus.
People in the area are encouraged to call their local hospitals before visiting a patient to check on the visitor restrictions.