Rome Memorial Hospital restricts visitors in fight against flu


To protect patients from the flu and other illnesses, visitor restrictions have been put in place at Rome Memorial Hospital and its Residential Health Care Facility.

Effective immediately, a maximum of two visitors per patient will be permitted at any one time and children 14 and under are prohibited from visiting all inpatient acute care areas, the hospital announced Friday afternoon.

The Maternity Department and Pediatrics Unit are restricting all visitors except parents, grandparents, and birthing coaches.

According to Director of Infection Prevention Emma Ingalls, RN, the flu season hit early in Central New York with the number of cases continuing to rise each week.

To protect patients who are already compromised, please do not visit if you feel ill with any type of upper respiratory problem. Please stay home to protect our patients and yourself,” she said.

Everyone entering the hospital is being asked to use hand sanitizer upon arrival and as they leave the building to protect themselves and others. Masks will be available at all entrances to the hospital for visitors who would like to use them as an extra precaution. 

The flu can be spread through the air by coughs and sneezes, and is also transferred from person to person on surfaces. Using good respiratory hygiene, like covering your cough and discarding used tissues immediately, can reduce transmission.

Anyone seeking treatment in the hospital’s Emergency Department, Urgent Care or Medical Offices will be asked to wear a mask if they have respiratory symptoms.

The best protection against contracting influenza includes:

Wash your hands often with soap and water. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand rub. Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. Throw the tissue in the trash after you use it.If you don’t have a handkerchief or a tissue, use the crook of your arm, not your hand. Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth. Germs spread this way. Try to avoid close contact with sick people. If you are sick with flu–like illness, stay home for at least 24 hours after your fever is gone except to get medical care or for other necessities. (Your fever should be gone without the use of a fever-reducing medicine.) While sick, limit contact with others as much as possible to keep from infecting them. Get your flu shot. It will take two weeks before it begins to provide protection.

If you have flu-like symptoms that are severe and persistent, you should contact your healthcare provider. If you can’t get in to see your doctor, Physicians Urgent Care is open Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. and 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday.

Signs and symptoms of the flu include: fever/chills, sore throat, cough, headache, muscle aches, fatigue, runny or stuffy nose. The degree of illness from the flu can be very mild to severe. Someone might think they have a cold and they actually have the flu. For most people symptoms only last a few days.

Vaccination is best way to prevent seasonal flu, Ingalls said. Seasonal flu vaccine formulations may change every year, because circulating flu viruses change.

“The CDC recommends all people ages 6 months and older get vaccinated every year, even if the vaccine is not a perfect match,” Ingalls said.

“Antibiotics are not effective against the flu. The flu is a virus, and antibiotics are used to treat bacterial infections. Most healthy adults do not need antivirals to fight the flu, so it may unlikely you are prescribed anything for it. Antivirals, when taken early, may be helpful in reducing the severity of symptoms and complications with high risk populations. Your healthcare provider will evaluate your need for these drugs.”


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