SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WGGB) – In response to the increase of flu cases so far this season, the area’s largest health care system is launching new policies to help protect patients, guests, and staff.
Officials with Baystate Health System says that “our community is seeing a high incidence of influenza infection” and that they are now trying to help curb the spread of illness by putting new procedures in place at their dozens of facilities across the Valley.
The following changes to the visitor policy will now be in place at Baystate Medical Center, Baystate Franklin Medical Center, and Baystate Mary Lane Hospital:
- No visitors under 14 years old will be permitted in Baystate Health hospitals
- Visitors who have been exposed to the flu at home, or have symptoms, are asked to refrain from visiting patients in Baystate hospitals
- No more than two visitors at a time are recommended per patient
Baystate is also asking that, in an effort to reduce flu exposure in the waiting rooms of their medical practices and other outpatient facilities, people do the following:
- Adult patients should come to appointments alone or be accompanied by no more than one other person, if needed.
- Adult patients are discouraged from bringing children to their appointments to not get the child sick
In a statement, Baystate says, “Visitors to Baystate facilities are asked to comply with these new guidelines to help us keep already-vulnerable hospital patients safe from flu-related illness, and to help our staff stay healthy and meet the community’s healthcare needs.”
They are encouraging people who may be sick to instead of coming to the hospitals to visit to rather call the patient or connect with that person through email or social media if available.