In response to flu and respiratory virus season activity increasing, Banner Health has implemented visitor restrictions at all of its hospitals, beginning Wednesday, Jan. 2.
The following restrictions are being placed at all Banner Health hospitals:
• Restricting visitors if they have a fever, cough, vomiting or diarrhea.
• Restricting visitors under the age of 13. Siblings, who do not have cold and flu symptoms, may visit a new baby on the Obstetrics unit or Pediatric unit. That child may be screened for illness by staff before being allowed to visit.
• Children 12 and under must be supervised by an adult at all times in public waiting areas and cafeterias.
• Visitors are highly encouraged to wash or sanitize hands frequently while at the hospital to prevent getting the flu or potentially spreading any illness.
“While we understand visitor restrictions can be difficult, they are necessary to prevent the spread of flu and other respiratory viruses within our hospitals. We appreciate everyone’s help in keeping our patients safe,’’ said Joan Ivaska, senior director of infection prevention at Banner Health.
All Banner Health employees, employed physicians, volunteers and students received a flu vaccination by Dec. 3, 2018. Those who were unable to receive the vaccination because of medical or religious reasons are required to wear a mask while in care settings (such as hospitals) during the flu season.
Banner Health encourages everyone over the age of six months to receive the flu vaccine to protect themselves and others from influenza. It takes about two weeks after vaccination for protection to set in.
Headquartered in Arizona, Banner Health is one of the largest nonprofit health care systems in the country. The system owns and operates 28 acute-care hospitals, Banner Health Network, Banner – University Medicine, academic and employed physician groups, long-term care centers, outpatient surgery centers and an array of other services; including Banner Urgent Care, family clinics, home care and hospice services, pharmacies and a nursing registry. Banner Health is in six states: Arizona, California, Colorado, Nebraska, Nevada and Wyoming. For more information, visit www.BannerHealth.com.