White River Health System Takes Proactive Steps to Prevent Influenza

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Due to the significant increase in influenza cases across the state, and the community, White River Medical Center began screening visitors and employees for signs of respiratory illness on Wednesday.

This decision aligns with the approach of other hospitals and complies with the recommendations of the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) regarding precautionary measures for influenza and other viral respiratory illnesses.

Out of consideration for patients and employees, visitors to White River Medical Center are asked to use the East, North (Women’s Center), or West (ER) entrance.

Additionally, hospital visiting hours changed to 7 a.m. – 7 p.m.  Two visitors may visit at one time. Adults and children older than 15 years of age may visit patients.

“Our hospital and clinics have seen a significant spike in cases of influenza in the last seven days… We are taking these proactive measures to limit exposure to respiratory viruses to protect the health and safety of our patients and our staff,” said Doug Bernard, MD, Chief Medical Officer

WRHS leadership is closely following screening and treatment recommendations and preparing to care for patients who may need testing and/or treatment.

The latest information is available at https://www.healthy.arkansas.gov/programs-services/topics/novel-coronavirus and https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html.

People experiencing fever, cough, shortness of breath, or other symptoms of illness should not visit family and friends in the hospital.

If you are experiencing symptoms, call your primary care provider to schedule an appointment.

The best protection from respiratory illness is:

  1. Wash your hands frequently with warm soap and water frequently for at least 20 seconds.  If soap and water are not available, use alcohol-based hand sanitizer with 65-95% alcohol.
  2. Cover coughs and sneezes with a tissue.  Throw the tissue away after use.
  3. If you or someone in your care has a fever (99.9 degrees or above), stay home.  Do not go to work, school, church, or stores.  Remain home until you are fever-free for 24 hours without fever-reducing medications.

Information provided directly by the White River Health System.

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