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DMC Puts Visitor Restrictions in Place to Fight the Flu

Dec 3, 2019

The Detroit Medical Center is taking every necessary precaution to minimize the spread of influenza this year. Currently, local flu activity has been noted in Michigan and there is a rise of confirmed flu cases in the Metro Detroit area.

Hospital patients, younger children and senior citizens are particularly susceptible to catching and spreading these illnesses, according to Dr. Teena Chopra, corporate medical director of infection prevention and hospital epidemiology at DMC Harper University Hospital.

To protect patients, visitors and staff, the Detroit Medical Center – effective immediately – is implementing new patient visitation guidelines. Visitors under the age of 12 will be not be allowed to visit our inpatient and observation units and only two visitors will be allowed at a time. This includes DMC facilities at Children’s Hospital of Michigan, Detroit Receiving Hospital, Harper University Hospital, Heart Hospital, Huron Valley-Sinai Hospital, Hutzel Women’s Hospital, Rehabilitation Institute of Michigan and Sinai-Grace Hospital.

Any visitor displaying symptoms of sore throat, runny nose, muscle aches, fever, cough, sneezing or chills will not be permitted to visit a patient. These temporary guidelines will remain in effect while we are experiencing a high volume of seasonal flu activity present in the community. Exceptions will be made in special circumstances, such as when a visit is deemed critical because of a patient’s condition.

“One of the challenges in fighting flu is that the virus can spread very easily,” Chopra said. “However, every step we can take to ensure the spread of flu is kept to a minimum is a step in the right direction in the fight against the flu.”

Should visitors arrive at the hospital during normal business or visiting hours with children under the age of 12, they will not be permitted to visit inpatient and observation units. Hand hygiene and respiratory etiquette signage have been placed at the main entrances of our hospitals and several other locations throughout our facilities. Frequent hand washing and the covering of coughs and sneezes can go a long way to help prevent the transmission of flu and other germs.

“We can never be too safe when it comes to flu season,” said Dr. Rudy Valentini, group chief medical officer at the Detroit Medical Center and Children’s Hospital of Michigan. “We’re doing absolutely everything we can to prevent the spread of influenza and to ensure the safety of our patients. We have a mandatory flu vaccination policy for our physicians and staff to reduce the transmission of infection to our patients, while at the same time keeping them healthy to enable them to continue providing high quality care to our patients in need.”

All Detroit Medical Center staff, volunteers, medical staff and students in patient care areas are required to receive the influenza vaccination or wear a surgical/procedure mask during flu season. For more information about what symptoms to look for and what to do if a child feels sick, click here.

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