Banner Churchill lifts restrictions
As the flu and cold season winds down, Banner Health, one of nation’s largest health care providers has lifted visitor restrictions at all of its facilities including Banner Churchill Community Hospital in Fallon. Restrictions for the 2014-2015 cold and flu season were implemented Oct. 1, a little earlier than expected because of the outbreak of Enterovirus D68 across the nation.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), more than half a million people nationwide have been tested for flu viruses since Sept. 28, 2014, with 112,246 positive cases.
“We’re continuously committed to the safety of our patients, visitors, employees and volunteers,” said Joan Ivaska, senior director of Infection Prevention for Banner Health. “This is typically the time of year when we see fewer cases of cold and flu. However, we recommend people still remain vigilant because you can still get sick. If you are planning to visit the hospital and feel you may be coming down with the flu or a cold, we ask that you take every precaution, like staying home instead, or making sure that you wear a mask that covers your nose and mouth when you visit.”
The CDC recommends that people get the flu shot every year to help prevent transmission of the illness. Banner’s “No Flu for You” campaign requires all employees to be vaccinated against influenza. Employees who choose not to be vaccinated must either wear a mask during the cold and flu season while at work or forego employment at Banner.
In addition to these precautions, to avoid getting sick, the CDC recommends washing hands with soap and water frequently; avoid contact with eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands; and disinfecting frequently touched surfaces, such as toys and doorknobs, especially if someone is sick.