The Charlotte area’s two largest hospital groups on Thursday announced restrictions on patient visits due to the flu outbreak across the Carolinas and other states.
Atrium Health and Novant Health are restricting children 12 and under from all of their acute care facilities effective 7 a.m. Friday until further notice.
Anyone 13 and older who has a runny nose, sore throat, fever or cough also is asked not to visit patients at Charlotte-based Atrium Health’s 20 NC facilities and Winston-Salem-based Novant Health’s 16 hospitals in North Carolina and Virginia.
The restriction does not apply to people seeking treatment, according to the hospital groups.
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Cone Health, Wake Forest Baptist Health and Randolph Health joined Atrium Health and Novant Health in announcing the same restrictions.
“This unified response helps better control the spread of flu throughout the region,” according to an Atrium Health news release.
To prevent getting the flu, people should get a flu shot, wash their hands frequently with soap or an alcohol-based hand sanitizer and avoid touching their eyes, nose and mouth, officials with the hospital groups urged.
The federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention also recommends those measures.
North Carolina had six influenza-related deaths reported in the week ending Feb. 2, raising the total number for the season to 35, according to a news release Thursday by the N.C. Department of Health and Human Services. The number is likely higher, because “many go undiagnosed or unreported,” according to the department.
Ashe County Schools in the NC mountains will be closed Friday due to a flu outbreak there, the system announced Thursday.
The flu is likely to stick around for several more weeks, State Epidemiologist Dr. Zack Moore said in the release. “Getting vaccinated now is the best way to protect yourself and those you come in contact with.”
“Most people with the flu have mild illness and do not need medical care,” Atrium Health officials said in its news release. “If you have flu 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.”
Atrium Health hospitals
- Carolinas Medical Center
- Levine Children’s Hospital
- Levine Cancer Institute
- Carolinas Medical Center-Mercy
- Carolinas HealthCare System NorthEast
- 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
- Carolinas HealthCare System Stanly
- Carolinas HealthCare System Behavioral Health-Charlotte
- Carolinas HealthCare System Behavioral Health-Davidson
- Carolinas Rehabilitation-Charlotte
- Carolinas Rehabilitation-NorthEast
- Carolinas Rehabilitation-Mt. Holly
- Atrium Health Pineville Rehabilitation Hospital
Novant Health hospitals
- Novant Health Brunswick Medical Center
- Novant Health Charlotte Orthopedic Hospital
- Novant Health Clemmons Medical Center
- Novant Health Forsyth Medical Center
- Novant Health Hemby Children’s Hospital
- Novant Health Huntersville Medical Center
- Novant Health Kernersville Medical Center
- Novant Health Matthews Medical Center
- Novant Health Medical Park Hospital
- Novant Health Mint Hill Medical Center
- Novant Health Presbyterian Medical Center
- Novant Health Rowan Medical Center
- Novant Health Thomasville Medical Center
- Novant Health UVA Health System Prince William Medical Center
- Novant Health UVA Health System Haymarket Medical Center
- Novant Health UVA Health System Culpeper Medical Center.