Community Hospital of the Monterey Peninsula restricts some visitors to protect patients from flu
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Monica Sciuto (831) 622-2756
Communication and Marketing: (831) 625-4505
Monterey, Calif. — To protect patients, visitors, and staff, Community Hospital of the Monterey Peninsula is implementing new restrictions on visitors during the flu season.
Beginning today, all visitors to Community Hospital must be 16 years of age or older. Previously, there was no age limit. In addition, people with cold or flu symptoms will not be allowed to visit. This restriction is placed on occasion when public health conditions warrant extra protection for our patients.
“We know that visits from loved ones are an important part of the healing process,” says Steven Packer, MD, president and chief executive officer. “But due to the severity of this flu season, we believe these precautions are in the best interest of our patients, staff, volunteers, and visitors to our inpatient facilities. We hope the community understands and helps us achieve this extra level of safety.”
The age restriction is being put in place because the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has determined that younger people are less likely to follow respiratory hygiene practices such as covering a cough, cleaning hands frequently, and wearing masks appropriately People can be infectious even before symptoms appear, so Community Hospital is taking this extra precaution to protect patients, visitors, and staff.
“Hospitals around the country are implementing similar restrictions as we all work to control the spread of flu,” Packer says. “Like other hospitals, Community Hospital is experiencing an increase in patients with the flu or flu-like symptoms, so we feel it is important to take these steps.”
The visitor limitations will be evaluated throughout the flu season and eliminated when they are no longer considered necessary. Exceptions will be made in special circumstances, such as when a visit is deemed critical because of the patient’s condition. Families who anticipate such a situation are asked to call the hospital and speak with the administrative supervisor or the Infection Prevention office before visiting.
In general, Community Hospital asks that people who are ill do not visit patients and offers these guidelines to stay well or get well during the flu season:
Prevention: Your key to staying healthy
- Get vaccinated with both types of flu shots (pandemic and seasonal flu).
- Keep your hands clean with hand sanitizer or soap and water.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth. Germs can be spread this way.
- Avoid close contact (within 6 feet) with people with flu-like illness.
The symptoms of seasonal flu and include the following:
- Fever (temperature of 100 degrees F. or above)
- Sore throat
- Runny or stuffy nose
- Body aches
- Vomiting and diarrhea may also occur
If you are ill
- Stay home, drink plenty of liquids, and rest.
- Cover your nose and mouth when you cough or sneeze. Cough into your elbow rather than covering your mouth with your hands or use a tissue to cover your nose and mouth when you cough or sneeze. Throw the tissue in the trash after you use it. Clean your hands.
- Keep away from others as much as possible.
- Visit with friends by phone.
- Avoid travel if you are sick.
- Do not go to work or school until 24 hours after your fever is gone.
Seeking medical attention
Most people recover without medical care. However, you should consult with your doctor or go to an urgent care clinic promptly if you experience any of the following warning signs:
- Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
- Pain or pressure in the chest
- Severe or persistent vomiting
- Flu symptoms improve but then return and worsen
The hospital Emergency department should be used when emergency-level care is needed.
Where to get vaccines
Community Hospital does not provide vaccines to outpatients. For availability, please check with:
- Your doctor
- Central Coast Visiting Nurse Association, 648-3777
- Walk-in clinics every Friday in January, 9 a.m.-5 p.m., 5 Lower Ragsdale Drive, Monterey
- Monterey County Department of Health, 755-4500
- Your local pharmacy
Visit www.chomp.org/flu for more information.
ABOUT COMMUNITY HOSPITAL
Community Hospital of the Monterey Peninsula, established in 1934, has grown and evolved in direct response to the changing healthcare needs of the people it serves. Its parent company is Montage Health, the umbrella for entities that work together to deliver exceptional care and inspire the pursuit of optimal health. Community Hospital is a nonprofit healthcare provider with 220 staffed acute-care hospital beds and 28 skilled-nursing beds, delivering a continuum of care from birth to end of life, and every stage in between. It serves the Monterey Peninsula and surrounding communities through locations including the main hospital, outpatient facilities, satellite laboratories, a mental health clinic, a short-term skilled nursing facility (Westland House), Hospice of the Central Coast, Montage Wellness Centers, and business offices. Find more information about Community Hospital of the Monterey Peninsula at chomp.org