IRON MOUNTAIN - Visitor restrictions are now in effect in Dickinson Memorial Hospital's OB Unit/Family Birth Center, according to hospital officials, due to early onset of the influenza virus. Visitor restraint is urged in other areas of the hospital, as well.
To keep newborns and their mothers safe and healthy and due to the early onset of influenza this year, as well as increased illness in children, the OB Department has restricted visitation. Anyone under the age of 18, including siblings, will be unable to visit in the OB Department.
These restrictions will remain in effect until further notice.
While not a formal facility-wide visitor restriction, officials at Dickinson Memorial Hospital are requesting that people who are currently exhibiting signs of upper respiratory illness refrain from visiting hospitalized family and friends. Those affected would be people who have colds, a cough, fever and any other form of respiratory distress. Rather than make a personal visit to the hospital, people with compromised health are asked to send flowers or make a phone call.
"With news and evidence of the early onset of the latest strain of influenza continue, we are simply taking some advance precautions," explained Brenda DeAmicis, RN, infection control specialist at Dickinson Memorial Hospital. "We have no evidence of pandemic influenza in our community or in our hospital. At this time, we are simply asking the public to help us keep our community as healthy as possible by staying home and away from our patients if they are exhibiting any signs of illness."
To help limit the spread of influenza, public health officials are reaffirming the need for hand hygiene, covering the mouth and nose when coughing and sneezing, and staying home if sick.
"We appreciate your cooperation and understanding," continued DeAmicis. "Our visitor restriction hotline number is (906) 776-5950 and is updated regularly as conditions change. We encourage you call this number before planning a visit to the hospital."