With a flu epidemic affecting much of the country, local hospitals are hoping to protect their patients by keeping visits to a minimum.
Newton-Wellesley Hospital has put in place a number of visitor restrictions to help limit the spread of the flu virus, according to the hospital's website. The visitor limitations include:
- For medical or surgical patients - two visitors per patient at a time
- Maternity patients - Parents plus two visitors per patient at a time
- No visitors under the age of 12
- If you have the flu or flu-like symptoms (fever, cough, sore throat, runny nose), do not visit a patient
- If you have not had a flu shot, do not visit a patient
Similar restrictions have been posted on the Beth Israel Needham hospital website. As of Jan 14, restrictions include:
- BIDMC is restricting any visitors to the medical center who have flu or flu-like symptoms. Most areas are actively screening visitors.
- Patients and families should try to limit non-essential visitors to the medical center. If there are any patients or visitors with special circumstances, please let your nurse or other care-giver know.
- Areas of the hospital that care for patients most vulnerable to the flu have instituted the most stringent visitor guidelines. For example, in many areas, children under 12 are no longer allowed to visit. These units include: Ambulatory Cancer Clinic, Ambulatory Obstetrics Clinic, Bone Marrow Transplant Unit, Solid Organ Transplant Unit, Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, Obstetrics Unit and Intensive Care Units.
- Please note that ambulatory patients who must come to the medical center for a visit and who have flu symptoms are being asked to wear a mask.
If you have not yet had a flu shot, the city of Newton is partnering with Newton-Wellesley Hospital for a free, appointment-only flu clinic today at the Newton Free Library. To schedule a time for the clinic, call the Newton-Wellesley Hospital Carefinder appointment line at 617-243-5900. The clinic is open to all and non-Newton residents may schedule appointments.
Earlier this week, many of Newton's pharmacies were out of the flu shot, but some were expecting more shipments this week. Use this article to find out where you can get a flu shot in Newton, but be sure to call the pharmacy beforehand to make sure vaccines are available.
For more information on how to prevent the flu, check out these tips from the CDC.