[1/8/20] Flu season triggers visitor restrictions at Chelan Hospital

Posted in Fire and EMS, Health

The flu season got an early start this year, and a king county child died last month due to complications from the illness, the first known case of pediatric flu-related death in the county since 2009. In north-central Washington is not alone, residents aren’t immune, and the Lake Chelan Community Hospital recently responded to an uptake of flu cases by temporarily initiating visitor restrictions. 

Ray Eickmeyer, director of Emergency Medical Services at the hospital, tells KOZI about their decision.

While no visitors with flu-like symptoms, including fever, cough, sneezing or sore throat will be allowed to visit patients in Chelan’s hospital, the facility is also limiting the number of visitors per patient to only two, in order to control the spread of sickness.

Also, no children under twelve are allowed to visit hospitalized patients. Visitors, explains Eickmeyer, especially children, may not know they have the flu, even though they are contagious and can easily pass the flu on to others. Staff will only allow children under 12 to visit patients in special cases – or with prior approval from the patient’s healthcare team.