Rochester Regional Health is restricting hospital visitors as a way to reduce the spread of flu and other infections.
The restrictions happen every year about this time and usually last for a couple of months, until the number of new confirmed flu cases in the county return to a much lower level. Flu season officially starts in October, peaks in January and February, and can run until May.
The Monroe County Department of Public Health reported 420 confirmed cases through Dec. 21. Not all people report flu symptoms to their doctor and not all suspected cases are tested, so there are more cases than statistics show.
The health department reported on Dec. 30 that 51 people have been hospitalized. The only reported death so far was of a child in October.
Rochester Regional Health is implementing restrictions as of Dec. 31 at Rochester General and Unity hospitals.
Until further notice:
- Only two visitors per patient at a time. Parents/caregivers are not counted as visitors
- All visitors must be at least 14-years-old. However, healthy siblings of any age may visit newborns
- Patients should not receive visitors who have sore throat, fever, runny nose, cough, sneezing, or other flu-like symptoms (even if the visitor has been vaccinated against the flu).
UR Medicine is likely to have similar restrictions in place soon at Strong Memorial and Highland hospitals.
For information about flu shots, go to www2.monroecounty.gov/flu