Flu rates have led to temporary visitor restrictions at Elkin and other area hospitals

Staff Report

Hugh Chatham Memorial Hospital and Wilkes Medical Center have joined other major medical facilities in the region in restricting visitors younger than age 12 in light of the active flu season.

On Thursday, Hugh Chatham officials made the announcement on restrictions via the hospital’s Facebook page, noting the restrictions were for the safety of the patients. “Anyone with flu type symptoms should refrain from visiting patients until they have been symptom free for 24 hours,” the post reads.

The temporary restrictions at the Elkin hospital will be lifted “when it is safe to do so,” with officials “closely monitoring the prevalence of flu in our community.”

Wake Forest Baptist Health, which now operates the Wilkes Medical Center, as well as in-patient sites in Lexington, Davie County and Winston-Salem, enacted its restrictions at 7 p.m. Friday.

“Children age 12 and under may not visit patients,” a release from WFBH stated. “Exceptions for extenuating family circumstances may be allowed, but parents or guardians are asked to get permission from the patient’s nurse to allow children to visit.”

Those who are healthy and older than age 13 can visit patients, noted the release. “All visitors and family members should be healthy — free from fever, cough, colds, or stomach virus symptoms — in order to visit patients,” it said.

The temporary restrictions for WFBH are to remain in place through the rest of the flu season.

The WFBH decision to enact the restrictions was part of a synchronized effort among six regional health systems: Carolinas Healthcare System, Cone Health, High Point Regional, Novant Health which operates Forsyth Medical Center, Randolph Health and WFBH.

Staff Report