Visitor Restrictions: Beating the Flu

Visitor Restrictions

Because of a high level of concern for the health of our patients and staff, Decatur County Memorial Hospital is limiting visitor access.

Visitor Guidelines

  • No visitors under the age of 18 are allowed in the hospital unless they are a patient or parent of a patient (exceptions need to be cleared with the charge nurse).
  • Any visitors with fever, cough, or diarrhea should stay home.
  • Anyone coming into the hospital with flu or cold symptoms will be required to wear a mask.
  • Visitors and patients should cover their cough (cough or sneeze into your sleeve).
  • Visitors will be required to wear personal protective equipment such as gown, gloves, and a mask if visiting a patient in isolation.
  • Visitors will be asked to wear a name badge

Hand Hygiene

  • Visitors and patients should wash their hands frequently with soap and water or use hand sanitizer.
  • Hand sanitizer is the preferred method unless otherwise indicated (look for a sign near the patient’s door).
  • Hand hygiene should be done before and after patient contact.

Flu prevention stations

Visitors and patients should take notice of the flu prevention stations that have been placed throughout the hospital. The stations include personal protective equipment, such as hand sanitizer and face masks, to help keep you safe. In the rare circumstances a visitor with influenza-like illness is permitted into the hospital, they will have to follow these rules: Wear a mask at all times while in the hospital, go directly to the patient’s room, and leave the hospital when the visit is complete.

Avoid the flu this season

There are everyday actions that can help prevent the spread of germs that cause respiratory illnesses like influenza.

Take these everyday steps to protect your health:

  • Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. Throw the tissue in the     trash after you use it.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water, especially after you cough or sneeze. Alcohol based hand cleaners are also effective.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth. Germs spread this way.
  • Try to avoid close contact with sick people.
  • If you are sick with flu-like illness, the Center for Disease Control (CDC) recommends that you stay home for at least 24 hours after your fever is gone except to get medical care or for other necessities. (Your fever should be gone without the use of a fever reducing medicine.) Keep away from others as much as possible to keep from making others sick.

What is the best technique for washing my hands to avoid getting the flu?

Washing your hands often will help protect you from germs. Wash with soap and water or clean with alcohol-based hand cleaner. CDC recommends that when you wash your hands – with soap and warm water – that you wash for 15 to 20 seconds. When soap and water are not available, alcohol-based disposable hand wipes or gel sanitizers may be used. You can find them in most supermarkets and drugstores. If using gel, rub your hands until the gel is dry. The gel doesn’t need water to work; the alcohol in it kills the germs on your hands.