New visitor restrictions to protect patients from flu

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  • Providence St. Mary Medical Center
    Kathleen Obenland
    Director of Communications and External Relations
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Walla Walla, WA—Due to the surge of flu cases in Walla Walla, Providence St. Mary Medical Center has implemented a restricted visitation policy on its campus to prevent the spread of the disease.

The intent of these restrictions is to do everything we can to keep people healthy—our patients, staff, families and hospital visitors.

  • Visitors must be either members of the immediate family (primarily spouses, partners and children) or individuals age 18 or older. The exception to the age restriction is in the Birth Center. Healthy siblings under 18 may visit, but must report to the nurse’s station before proceeding to Mom’s room so they can be assessed and given masks to wear for the duration of the visit.
  • All patients are restricted to two visitors at a time in the hospital. This does not mean two visitors in a room at a time with another 10 people rotating in and out of the waiting room. Its two visitors, total, in the entire hospital building. The intent is to discourage large groups of people from being in our waiting rooms, cafeterias or other public areas of the hospital. Our concern is keeping people healthy and being around large groups of people increases the chance of spreading viruses.
  • Visitors accompanying patients for Providence Medical Group clinic or diagnostic appointments, who have a cough or influenza-like symptoms will be given a mask to wear, and are asked to use good hand hygiene to protect others.
  • The restrictions will remain in place until the incidence of flu declines in the community. Providence St. Mary appreciates the public’s help in the effort to reduce the spread of the disease.

Providence St. Mary Medical Center, a 142-bed regional hospital located in Walla Walla, Wash., is the fourth largest employer in Walla Walla County. The Providence Medical Group is the largest group of primary care providers and specialists in the Walla Walla area.