Four Area Hospitals Adjust Visiting Recommendations Due to Widespread Influenza Activity
Salem Township Hospital Reporting Increase Number of Positive Results for Influenza A
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Four area hospitals have adjusted visitation guidelines in response to the widespread influenza activity in the area. They are Salem Township Hospital, SSM Health St. Mary's Hospital in Centralia and Good Samaritan Hospital in Mt. Vernon along with HSHS St. Joseph's Hospital in Breese.

You are asked not to visit the hospitals if you are suffering from flu-like symptoms, such as high fever plus cough and or sore throat. A maximum of two visitors per patient and no visitors under the age of 18 is requested. The rules are in accordance with the Illinois Department of Public Health and the Center for Disease Control and Protection.

The hospitals also encourage good hand hygiene. They note the best way to prevent the spread of influenza is to cover coughs and sneezes and to wash hands often, especially after coughing or sneezing into them.

Visitors are encouraged to take advantage of the "wellness stations" inside hospital entrances, which are equipped with hand sanitizer, masks, and tissue.

Salem Township Hospital Chief Nursing Officer Kendra Taylor says the hospital has seen an increased number of positive results for Influenza A indicating the flu is in the local area.

St. Mary's and Good Samaritan Hospitals note these visitor recommendations, which are based on the widespread influenza status, are designed to keep both patients and visitors healthy and stem the rate of infection from influenza. The hospitals will revert back to their open visitation policy as soon as health officials believe the threat from influenza has abated.

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