In addition, masks, hand sanitizer and trash cans will be available at entry and registration areas, and anyone entering or exiting a patient room must clean his or her hands. Public reading materials have been removed from waiting areas, as well, in an attempt to reduce transmission of flu germs.
“Taking steps to prevent infections saves lives and is the responsible thing to do in the interest of our community,” said Chief Nursing Officer Karen Haak. “These policies are designed to protect those at greatest risk during the flu season. The time frame of these visitation restrictions is uncertain at this point,and will be evaluated on a daily basis.”
The American Red Cross recommends a flu vaccine for everyone 6 months of age and older, and they say it’s not too late to get vaccinated. Vaccines are still available in DCH-owned clinics: DCH Medical Clinic and Grand Avenue Pediatrics in Washington, North Daviess Clinic in Odon, and the Daviess-Martin Clinic in Loogootee.
In Knox County, vaccines are available for walk-in patients at Good Samaritan Hospital Community Health Services, located at Seventh and Dubois streets. They’re offered 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. No appointment is necessary for flu or pneumonia vaccines. Nurses also will administer vaccines to groups of 10 or more at their places of employment. For more information, call 885-8753.
“We can’t emphasize enough how important it is Ñ and how easy it is Ñ to provide your family with as much protection as possible by getting vaccinated against the flu,” said Alison Martin, executive director of the American Lung Association in Indiana. “Immunization is especially important for those at higher risk Ð young children, pregnant women, those who are 50 years of age or older, people with certain chronic medical conditions including asthma, COPD and heart disease and healthcare workers and caregivers who are in close contact with those at high risk.”