Centralia & Mt. Vernon, IL (December 29, 2017) –Effective December 28, 2017, both SSM Health St. Mary’s Hospital-Centralia and SSM Health Good Samaritan Hospital –Mt. Vernon have temporarily changed their visitation recommendations in response to widespread influenza activity in the area.
Until further notice, visitors suffering flu-like symptoms — high fever plus cough and/or sore throat – are asked to NOT visit patients until they have recovered from their symptoms. A maximum of two visitors per patient, and no visitors under the age of 18 is requested. These rules are in accordance with the Illinois Department of Public Health and the Center for Disease Control and Protection, https://www.cdc.gov/flu/professionals/infectioncontrol/healthcaresettings.htm.
SSM Health also strongly encourages good hand hygiene. The best way to prevent the spread of influenza is to cover coughs and sneezes, and to wash hands often, especially after coughing or sneezing into them. Additional tips are at https://www.cdc.gov/flu/protect/covercough.htm.
These visitor recommendations, which are based on the widespread influenza status, are designed to keep both patients and visitors healthy and stem the rate of infection from influenza. The hospitals will revert back to their open visitation policy as soon as health officials believe the threat from influenza has abated.
Visitors are encouraged to take advantage of the “wellness stations” inside hospital entrances, which are equipped with hand sanitizer, masks, and tissue.