Local hospitals will not allow guests under 13 years old amid 'widespread' flu outbreak


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Local hospitals in the Piedmont Triad are tightening restrictions on visits amid what Novant Health calls a “widespread outbreak of the flu virus.”

Novant Health, Cone Health and Wake Forest Baptist Health announced the restrictions Tuesday.

Beginning Wednesday morning, children 12 years old and younger are not allowed to visit patients. Hospitals may make exceptions for extenuating family circumstance but guests must check with that patient’s nurse beforehand.

Healthy visitors who are 13 years old or older are not restricted.

“Vaccination is the best protection against the flu, so we want people to know that it is still not too late to receive the influenza vaccine if they have not already done so,” said Larry Givner, M.D., professor of pediatric infectious diseases at Wake Forest Baptist Health. “Throughout the year, we always remind visitors and family members – regardless of their age – that in order to visit patients, they should be healthy and free from fever, cough, colds or stomach virus symptoms.”

Regional health systems are partnering to limit the spread of the flu. This team, including Atrium Health, Caromont Health, Novant Health, Randolph Health and Wake Forest Baptist Health, have all implemented visitor restrictions.

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