Starting Jan. 13, all Samaritan Health Services hospitals are asking people with flu-like symptoms not to visit anyone there. These are hospitals in Corvallis, Albany, Lebanon, Lincoln City and Newport.
Newborns, their moms, and pediatric patients are only allowed four total visitors during their stay at the hospital. Doctors say newborns have especially fragile immune systems. They say flu season is unpredictable, but the visitor restrictions will probably last into early spring.
“We intend to keep our visitor restrictions in place probably until March or April, depending upon how the season plays out,” said Dr. William Muth, an Infectious Disease Specialist with Samaritan Health Services.
Samaritan also asks that anyone under the age of 12 not visit any newborns or pediatric patients unless they are a healthy sibling.
“We are endeavoring to really protect our patients,” Dr. Muth said. “So that’s the purpose of these restrictions. And we’re certainly trying to get everyone immunized, which of course is the most important way to avoid the flu.”