In the past month, the medical center has documented a more than 50 percent increase in visits to its emergency department.
In response to this increase in influenza activity, Halifax Regional is asking community members not to visit the medical center unless you are a patient in need of treatment.
It is also implementing immediate visitation guidelines to decrease the spread of influenza among patients, visitors, and staff.
Effective immediately, Halifax Regional will implement the following visitation restrictions:
Children age five and under are not permitted in the medical center unless the child has an appointment or needs medical treatment;
Teens and older children are asked not to visit due to the high rate of influenza among those age groups
Pregnant women and adults age 65 and older are discouraged from visiting the medical center
Visitors with any flu-like symptoms— fever, cough, sore throat, fatigue, nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea — will not be permitted in the medical center·
Only one adult will be allowed to accompany a patient in the Emergency Care Center·
Visitors should wash their hands before entering a patient room and upon leaving the room
Hand sanitizer is available throughout the hospital in convenient dispensers.
“Peaks during flu season are especially challenging for any medical center, but we want the community to know we’re doing everything we can to reduce wait times and treat people as quickly and effectively as possible,” said Will Mahone, president and CEO. “This includes bringing in additional staff, doctors and nurses to help care for the large amount of patients we currently have under our care.”
HRMC also advises if you have not yet received a flu vaccination, it’s not too late as flu vaccinations are still available. Getting vaccinated is the best measure to increase chances of avoiding the flu and decrease the risk of influenza spreading to others.
In 2011, Halifax Regional implemented mandatory flu shots for all physicians, staff, board members, and volunteers.
Flu prevention stations have been set-up at all entrances and are placed throughout the medical center. The stations include personal protective equipment, such as hand sanitizer and face masks, to keep patients, visitors, and staff safe.
Basic precautionary measures should be taken as proper hygiene remains the best defense to prevent common viral respiratory diseases.
Personal hygiene and prevention of germ-spreading includes:
Frequent hand-washing with soap and water
Cover mouth when coughing and sneezing
Sanitary disposal of discharges from mouth and nose