Flu Fear Prompts Hospital’s Temporary Visitor Restrictions

Visitors Must Be Age 12 or Older

In a proactive measure to help prevent the spread of the influenza virus, visitors to Southern Ocean Medical Center in Manahawkin must be age 12 or older, as of Monday, Feb. 3.

“Additionally, anyone with a fever or cough is asked to refrain from visiting the medical centers,” said hospital parent company Hackensack Meridian.

The New Jersey Department of Health is currently reporting that influenza activity level is high throughout New Jersey, hospital system officials pointed out.

The restriction applies to visitors only, and not to children of any age or adults who are entering the medical centers for treatment or testing.

“The visitor restriction is temporary and will remain in effect until such time designated by the New Jersey Department of Health when influenza activity is low or at the conclusion of influenza season,” the Feb. 3 Hackensack Meridian announcement said.

Infection prevention specialists at the company’s medical centers advise the community the best ways to avoid infection are to always cover coughs and sneezes using a tissue and frequently wash hands with warm, soapy water or use hand sanitizer, especially after coughing or sneezing.

—M.S.

Reposted from The Sandpaper, Feb. 5, 2020