Beebe Healthcare establishes temporary visitor policy

LEWES – With the number of flu cases climbing in Sussex County, Beebe Healthcare is establishing a temporary visitor policy in which children under the age of 16 are not allowed to visit patients.

The restriction begins Saturday, March 12.

Children visitors under the age of 16 cannot go upstairs to the patient areas, nor can they be left alone in the waiting areas downstairs.

The decision was made to protect the health and safety of children and patients. Children and teens younger than 16 are at a greater risk for flu complications and remain contagious longer than adults.

While most people with flu experience a mild illness and don’t need medical care, those with chronic illnesses, such as many of our patients, are at a high risk for developing complications, such as pneumonia.

Flu is the most common cause of viral pneumonia in adults.

Beebe asks for the public’s understanding in the effort to stop the spread of the flu, to protect those who are ill, and to protect those who are not.

  • If you have flu-related symptoms (fever greater than 100 degrees, body aches, runny or stuffy nose, sore throat, nausea or vomiting), do not visit the hospital, unless you are seeking treatment for yourself.
  • If you are visiting a hospital, you may be asked to wear an isolation mask.
  • Cough or sneeze into your inner elbow and not into your hands.
  • Wash your hands frequently and thoroughly with soap and water. If you touch a potentially contaminated surface with your hand, you can easily spread a virus to yourself by touching your nose, mouth, or eyes.
  • If you can do it comfortably, wear an isolation mask if you must be around others who may already have the flu.
  • If you are experiencing flu-like symptoms, we encourage you to stay at home until you recover fully. However, seek medical attention immediately if your symptoms become severe and you experience any of the following: Difficulty breathing or chest pain; discoloration of your lips; vomiting and regurgitation of liquids; seizures; confusion or lack of responsiveness; dehydration; absence of urination; or dizziness while standing.

Beebe Healthcare will lift this policy once concerns about the spread of the flu are over.

The Sussex County Post delivers news from Georgetown and southern Delaware. Follow @SussexPost on Twitter.

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