Hospitals restrict visitors during flu season

PORTLAND, Ore. - Legacy Health and Providence Health and Services are taking more precautions in their hospitals to stop this year's deadly flu from spreading.

Providence said patients in the maternity areas and intensive care units cannot have visitors under age 18. This includes immediate family members of patients at the hospital.

Hospital officials said the age restrictions are in place because children have a much higher rate of exposure to the flu.

All other areas of the hospital are under visitor restrictions as well. Children visiting the hospital who are under 18 years old must be immediate family members of the person they are visiting. Anyone with a cough or sore throat is required to wear a mask.

Hospital officials said the restrictions are only temporary and will be lifted once the flu season is over.

Legacy Health's restrictions

Legacy Health is not allowing more than two visitors per patient. Visitors who are 18 and younger are limited to immediate family members only.

Salem Health

Currently, Salem Health is not imposing visitor restrictions. However, since mid-October, hospital staffs at Salem Hospital's Emergency Department and Salem Health outpatient clinics have asked arriving patients and visitors with a cough to wear a protective mask while in waiting areas.

Salem Health is monitoring influenza cases and may consider visitor restrictions in the future.

Salem Hospital, West Valley Hospital and Willamette Health Partners are among the health care organizations that belong to the Salem Health group.