"JennyFar-Lifestyles & Wellness Blog" Healthy Long Life Central Indiana hospitals implement temporary restrictions for visitors – WTHR

Central Indiana hospitals implement temporary restrictions for visitors – WTHR


The change is in response to increased activity of respiratory viruses such as the flu, COVID-19 and RSV.

INDIANAPOLIS — Several hospitals in central Indiana are implementing temporary restrictions for visitors due to an uptick in respiratory viruses such as the flu, COVID-19 and RSV.

(NOTE: The video above is from a previous report on hospitals reporting a rise in RSV cases.)

According to the Marion County Public Health Department, all hospitals in the county must abide by the following guidelines:

  • No visitors with symptoms of illness such as sudden onset of fever, cough, headache, muscle and joint pain, sore throat, and runny nose.
  • No visitors under the age of 18.

Marion County hospitals participating in the temporary visitor restrictions include those within Community Health Network, Franciscan Health Indianapolis, Ascension St. Vincent, Indiana University Health, and Sidney & Lois Eskenazi Hospital.

The Marion County Public Health Department said the restrictions are designed to help protect the most vulnerable patients from these viruses.

For those who do visit the hospital, the health department recommends standard practices of washing hands and covering coughs and sneezes when around others. The hospitals will also provide masks for visitors if they do not have them.

Special arrangements can be made with each facility to allow additional visitors or younger visitors based on the circumstances, such as end of life.

RELATED: Nurses at IU Health Methodist, University hospitals push to unionize

Along with its Indianapolis location, Franciscan Health also said temporary visitation restrictions will be implemented at its Mooresville and Carmel hospitals. 

The following policy goes into effect Thursday, Dec. 21:

  • Visitors must be at least 18 years of age.
  • If visiting a patient who has respiratory symptoms, visitors are asked to keep a mask on and do not visit the cafeteria, coffee and gift shops or waiting rooms.
  • Those having symptoms suggestive of respiratory illness, including, but not limited to: cough, fever, shortness of breath, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, body aches, diarrhea, tiredness, headache and vomiting, will not be allowed to visit.
  • Visitors should continue to practice good hand hygiene.
  • Only two visitors per patient are allowed to visit at a time (excluding clergy who are part of the care team).
  • Visitation hours are from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m.

RELATED: Riley Hospital for Children implements temporary visitor restriction policy

Riley Hospital for Children previously implemented temporary visitor restrictions Dec. 11.

Here’s what Riley Hospital for Children’s visitor restrictions mean: 

  • Only parents or legal guardians and four adults identified by parents/legal guardians will be allowed.
  • Maternity patients are allowed to have six designated adult visitors.
  • No visitors under the age of 18 will be allowed to visit, including siblings. Exceptions can be made in certain cases and will be at the discretion of the unit manager.
  • Any person showing signs of illness should not visit until they are healthy.

On Dec. 21, IU Health announced all of its hospitals, except those in the “South Central Region,” will limit visitors beginning Tuesday, Dec. 26.

These restrictions will be in place “until viral illness rates decline”:

  • There is a limit of two visitors (18 or older) at any one time (exceptions can be made for end-of-life-situations).
  • Visitors younger than 18 years will not be permitted on patient units.
  • Visitors who have flu-like or COVID-19 symptoms, such as fever, cough, chills or muscle aches, will not be allowed to visit patients.
  • Masking is suggested for visitors to protect patients due to high levels of circulating viruses.
  • Visitors, vendors, volunteers and team members must be vigilant about hand washing and covering coughs.

Also on Dec. 21, restrictions were announced by Community Health Network, citing a recent rise in respiratory illnesses.

According to a spokesperson, the affected facilities include Community Hospital North, Community Hospital East, Community Hospital South, and Community Heart and Vascular Hospital in Indianapolis, Community Howard Regional Health in Kokomo and Community Hospital Anderson. 

The temporary visitor restrictions include: 

  • No visitors under age 18.
  • Visitors are limited to patient’s immediate family or as identified by patien. 
  • No more than two visitors at a time per patient. 
  • Visitors must wear a mask in patient room when requested.
  • Those with respiratory symptoms may not visit.

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