BRITT, Iowa, - A Level 3 Visitation Restriction is in effect for Hancock County Health System.
That means no visitors with respiratory or influenza-like symptoms; no visitors 18 and younger unless a child is visiting a parent in the hospital; Emergency Department patients are asked to bring only one person with them when seeking treatment; and only significant others and parents of patients may visit.
"We want to protect our patients, visitors and our own colleagues the best way we can from spreading the flu. Limiting visitation is one effective method we know does work," said Laura Zwiefel, Hancock County Health System CEO/Administrator. "Many of our network hospitals also have adopted similar policies."
All Health System workers were given the flu vaccine unless they had an approved exemption. Under Level 3 Restriction rules, all those who could not be vaccinated must wear a facemask for their entire shift.
Hancock County Health System says these restrictions are in place because school absenteeism was greater than 15 percent in any school in Hancock County; the number of HCHS Emergency Department patients is greater than 150 percent of what is was the same time the previous year; influenza like illness present in 15-20 percent of total HCHS Emergency Department visits; and influenza like illnesses present in 15-20 percent of total HCHS Clinic visits.
"As you have probably seen on TV or read about millions of Americans are now unfortunately suffering from the influenza virus. While our number one priority is your health, we want to help you prepare for the flu if you or a loved one does get it," Lacy Halsrud, ARNP, Hancock County Health System Clinics.