Hospital asks visitors to keep germs to themselves

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With the arrival of flu season, Rome Memorial Hospital is asking that “anyone experiencing upper respiratory or gastrointestinal symptoms or any other sickness” not visit patients or residents, according to director of Infection Prevention Amy Carissimo-Harris.

“It is important to know that the flu can be spread before symptoms even begin, so we ask that anyone who is not feeling well refrain from visiting,” she said in a statement Wednesday morning.

“If you are sick, please do not visit or volunteer in hospitals, nursing homes, schools, day care centers, and avoid crowds. Flu can spread rapidly in these environments.”

Those who do visit are asked to use hand sanitizer upon arrival and before leaving the building.

Surgical masks are available at all entrances for visitors as an extra precaution, as the flu can be spread through the air by coughs and sneezes, and is also transferred from person to person on surfaces.

“Respiratory hygiene, hand washing, and staying home when you’re sick are important flu fighting strategies in addition to vaccination,” Carissimo-Harris added.

Mohawk Valley Health System in Utica has placed specific restrictions on visitation: only two visitors per patient will be permitted at any one time, and children under 14 are prohibited from visiting inpatient areas entirely, with exceptions for siblings of newborns.

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