Prisma Health Hospitals Implement Visitor Restrictions in Response to Flu and Respiratory Illnesses
Prisma Health hospitals in South Carolina will be implementing visitor restrictions starting from December 27, 2023. The decision comes as a response to the surge in flu and respiratory illnesses during this season. To ensure the safety of patients, their loved ones, and healthcare workers, the hospitals will be specifically restricting visitors under the age of 16.
The move is aimed at curbing the spread of flu and other respiratory illnesses within the healthcare facilities. By limiting visitor access, Prisma Health hopes to minimize the risk of transmission and protect vulnerable patients from contracting these contagious diseases.
While strict visitor restrictions are being put in place, the hospitals will have some flexibility in exceptional cases. The discretion will lie with the hospital administration, allowing some leeway for special circumstances.
The visitor restrictions will impact several Prisma Health hospitals in the Columbia area, including Prisma Health Richland, Prisma Health Baptist, Prisma Health Heart, and Prisma Health Children’s Hospital. These institutions will be closely monitoring the situation and adapting their visitation policies as required to ensure the well-being of patients, their loved ones, and healthcare workers.
Additionally, all visitors – while not mandatory – are strongly recommended to wear masks during their visits. This precautionary measure will help prevent the transmission of respiratory illnesses, providing an added layer of protection for everyone involved.
The decision to implement restrictions comes as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports a nationwide increase in emergency room visits, hospitalizations, and deaths related to COVID-19. South Carolina has seen a significant impact from the flu as well, with 370 flu-associated hospitalizations and one flu-related death reported for the week of December 10-16, 2023. Since the beginning of flu season, the state has already recorded a total of 12 flu-related deaths, with the first reported on September 27.
Prisma Health is committed to the safety and well-being of its patients, and the visitor restrictions are just one of the measures being taken to mitigate the risk of disease transmission. By continuously monitoring the situation, the hospital aims to adapt its policies and protocols to ensure the utmost safety for all who enter its facilities.