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Those who are ill are asked to stay home

Use common sense during cold and flu season when deciding to visit loved ones in hospital

Local healthcare professionals are urging people to use common sense when deciding to visit patients or relatives in hospitals and nursing homes.

“Aspirus Medford is not currently restricting access to our Birthing Center nor do we have plans to do so at this time,” said Stephanie Dray, a hospital spokesperson.

“We continuously monitor illnesses in the community to determine when it is appropriate to limit visitor access. Currently we are sticking to our normal, yearround recommendation that visitors who are ill should refrain from visiting patients and residents,” she said.

While Aspirus is calling on people to use personal responsibility for those who are ill to self-limit access to healthcare facilities, others have taken a stronger approach.

Marshfield Medical Center in Marshfield set temporary visitor restrictions for its hospital birth center starting Monday, Jan. 6 citing high levels of respiratory illness in surrounding communities.

During this time, all visitors to the birth center must be free of illness and at least 18 years old. The number of visitors allowed are limited to the two designated labor and delivery support people and grandparents.

“We carefully monitor flu and respiratory illness in our hospitals and community,” said Dr. William Melms, Marshfield Clinic Health System chief medical officer. “When reported levels are moderate or high we implement a restricted visitor policy. The exposure risk is assessed regularly and restrictions will be lifted as soon as possible.”