April 9th, 2019
Effective immediately, Allen County hospitals, healthcare facilities and nursing homes are lifting visitor restrictions put in place last month in response to increased flu activity.
For the safety of patients and staff over the last several weeks, healthcare facilities have been limiting visitors to two per patient at one time and only visitors who are at least 18 years of age. Flu cases are on the decline and, as a result, those limitations are no longer necessary.
“We appreciated the community’s cooperation while these temporary restrictions were in place,” said Dr. Deborah McMahan, Allen County Health Commissioner. “We understand it can be a sacrifice to patients and healthcare professionals, but we do believe these efforts helped reduce transmission during this period of heightened flu activity.”
Seasonal flu activity is expected to continue for several more weeks, so residents should continue to take the following precautions year-round:
- Get vaccinated. All residents 6 months and older should be vaccinated against influenza, as well as pneumonia and pertussis (if recommended) unless there are known allergies to these vaccines. While the vaccine may not provide 100 percent protection against the flu viruses currently circulating, health officials continue to advise residents to get the shot, because at the very least it will help reduce the severity of illness.
- Stay home if you are sick. All residents experiencing fever and muscle aches should stay from school, work, shopping or other social gatherings until they have no fever for 24 hours without the benefit of fever reducing medications.
- Wash your hands frequently. Use soap and warm water whenever possible; if not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer to clean hands.
- Cover your cough and sneeze with a tissue.If you don’t have a tissue, cough or sneeze into your upper sleeve or elbow, not your hands.
- Wear a mask if needed. Patients with cough or fever seeking treatment at a healthcare facility should ask for a mask to wear.
Influenza vaccinations can be received at many local pharmacies. Visit http://www.heroesplan.org/locations/ for available locations. Vaccines can also be received by scheduling an appointment at the Allen County Department of Health Medical Annex, or by visiting an area urgent care clinic or primary care provider’s office.