Atrium continues restricted access due to flu

Published 3:13 pm Thursday, January 16, 2020

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Atrium Health is restricting hospital access for visitors 12 years old and under at all of its greater Charlotte area in-patient hospitals, including Atrium Health Stanly. The tighter restrictions are a result of the growing prevalence of flu cases in the region.

Atrium Health is joining Wake Forest Baptist Health, Caromont Health, Cone Health, Novant Health and Randolph Health in implementing the restrictions at the same date and time to prevent confusion among the public. This unified response also helps better control the spread of flu throughout the region.

Atrium Health hospitals affected by the tighter visitation policy are: Atrium Health’s Carolinas Medical Center, Atrium Health’s Levine Children’s Hospital, Atrium Health’s Levine Cancer Institute, Atrium Health Cabarrus, Atrium Health Mercy, a facility of Carolinas Medical Center, Atrium Health Pineville, Atrium Health Union, Atrium Health University City, Atrium Health Lincoln, Atrium Health Cleveland, Atrium Health Kings Mountain, Atrium Health Anson, Carolinas HealthCare System Blue Ridge, Atrium Health Stanly, Atrium Health Behavioral Health Charlotte, Atrium Health Behavioral Health Davidson, Carolinas Rehabilitation-Charlotte, Carolinas Rehabilitation-NorthEast, Carolinas Rehabilitation-Mt. Holly and Atrium Health Pineville Rehabilitation Hospital.

Atrium Health is also asking individuals of all ages who are experiencing flu-like symptoms to help control the spread of the illness by not visiting patients in the hospital while ill with flu like symptoms. Symptoms of flu include: fever, headaches/body aches/pain, cough or sore throat, stuffy or runny nose, chills, fatigue, nausea, vomiting and/or diarrhea.

If extraordinary circumstances require an individual with flu-like symptoms to visit a hospital patient, the visitor will be asked to wear a surgical mask to protect themselves and others.

To reduce your risk of getting the flu, Atrium Health recommends frequent hand washing with soap or use of an alcohol-based hand sanitizer, not touching eyes, nose or mouth with hands, covering your cough/sneeze, and getting a flu shot.

Most people with the flu have mild illness and do not need medical care. If you have flu-like symptoms, in most cases you should stay home and avoid contact with other people. Flu sufferers should rest, drink fluids and take ibuprofen or acetaminophen to reduce minor pain or fever.

If you are concerned about the severity of your symptoms, contact your healthcare provider or start a video visit or eVisit. The emergency department should only be used for people who are very sick, such as those with difficulty breathing, chest pain, confusion, severe vomiting or signs of dehydration.