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UK HealthCare restricting visitors during flu season

UK HealthCare has put temporary visitor restrictions in place to help curb the spread of the flu. (WKYT)
UK HealthCare has put temporary visitor restrictions in place to help curb the spread of the flu. (WKYT)(WKYT)
Published: Jan. 15, 2020 at 5:17 PM EST
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UK HealthCare is putting some visitor restrictions into place to be proactive during flu season.

The measures are temporary and are meant to protect other patients' health.

Kentucky's latest flu numbers show more than 8,000 cases so far this season.

At UK Health Center alone the Medical Director for Infection Prevention and Control, Derek Forster, says their labs have confirmed 233 cases of the flu. That is three times the amount they had at this time last year. It is because of this rise that officials have put in place restrictions on who visits to keep everyone safe.

"We worry about the safety of our patients who are vulnerable, who are recovering from their illnesses, and we try to limit as much as possible the amount of flu they could be exposed to," said Forster.

The restrictions include no visitors under the age of 12, no visitors with any flu-like symptoms, and only two visitors in a patient's room at a time. Some visitors may be given masks or other protective clothing when they visit one of the hospitals.

"We do make exceptions by case by case basis, our goals here are to weigh the risk-benefit to assure that the patients and families are met while they're here, but also to keep them safe from the flu," said Nursing Operations Administrator, Kimberly Blanton.

With some of the coldest air we've experienced so far this winter, Forster says everyone should practice preventative measures like washing hands to keep from catching any illnesses.

"People are usually more in closed quarters, usually closer to each other, people are back to work on a more regular basis and stuff, this is all just increasing the potential for spread of these types of respiratory viruses," said Forster.

This restriction affects all UK Health Care inpatient units including University of Kentucky Chandler Hospital, Kentucky Children's Hospital, UK Good Samaritan and Eastern State Hospital.

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