If you are visiting a patient at St. Joseph’s/Candler Health System’s hospitals in Savannah, leave your kids at home.
The hospitals on Tuesday announced temporary visitor restrictions because of the rapidly increasing number of flu cases in the area.
For the last three weeks, patients with influenza-like illnesses at the hospitals have been above the state baseline, according to a news release from St. Joseph’s/Candler.
Here are the new rules outlined in the news release:
▪ Do not visit any patient if you have any signs or symptoms of influenza. Flu-like symptoms include fever of 100 degrees or more; coughing; sore throat; muscle, joint or body aches; headaches; and nausea, vomiting or diarrhea.
▪ Only children seeking treatment should come to the hospitals.
▪ Those under the age of 18 are not permitted to visit any patients at St. Joseph’s/Candler.
▪ Those under the age of 18 cannot visit patients at the Telfair Birthplace at Candler Hospital unless they are the primary caretaker.
▪ Those under the age of 18 are not permitted to wait for family in any waiting area.
▪ Patients can receive only two visitors at a time.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says influenza-like illness in South Carolina is high but “regional,” meaning that patients are located in fewer than half the state’s counties.
Georgia, in turn, is listed as having a moderate level of influenza-like illness cases but those cases are “widespread,” meaning that patients are spread over a greater geographic area than those in South Carolina.
The South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control’s most recently released data is for the week of Nov. 19-25. That report shows 26 flu cases per 100,000 people in Beaufort County, a figure that is above the state’s baseline.
The current flu season in South Carolina has seen 1,889 confirmed influenza cases, 101 hospitalizations and one flu-related death, according to DHEC.