New Hanover Regional Medical Center prohibits visitors under age 12 to minimize spread of flu

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The New Hanover Regional Medical Center announced today it will start restricting visitors ages 12 and under to its hospital campuses effective immediately.

This precaution is being taken by hospitals across the state of North Carolina as cases of the flu are becoming more widespread. Because children can have the flu and be contagious days before symptoms develop, they will not be allowed to visit or accompany a patient into NHRMC facilities unless the child is a patient.

The policy will affect all New Hanover Regional Medical Center inpatient locations, including the main campus on 17th Street, the Betty H. Cameron Women’s and Children’s Hospital, Surgical Pavilion, Rehabilitation Hospital, Behavioral Health Hospital, NHRMC Orthopedic Hospital and Pender Memorial Hospital. Exceptions will be made in some situations if it is part of the patient’s plan of care. Such cases must be coordinated with the patient’s caregiver. The policy will apply to all areas of the hospitals, including lobbies and waiting areas. Children cannot be left unattended at any time.

The hospital is also asking adults not to visit if they’re experiencing flu-like symptoms, including a fever with sore throat, coughing, body aches, or headache. Patients who come to the emergency departments or other care areas with those symptoms will be required to wear a mask.

In addition to restricting visitation, NHRMC will suspend programs involving young people in the hospital, including Kangaroo Kapers, a program run by volunteers for boys and girls about to become big brothers and sisters.

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