When you're in the hospital for an illness or an injury, it’s always nice to see a familiar face of a loved one. This winter, some Central Georgia hospitals are taking extra precautions to keep people safe during flu season.

“Anybody at any age can develop the flu,” Dr. Thomas Oliver said. “Those who have a weakened immune system, the elderly, the very young, or people with serious medical conditions are the ones more prone to develop complications.”

Oliver is the chief medical officer at The Medical Center, Navicent Health.

“We've noticed an uptick in the number of cases and the number admissions for flu here at The Medical Center,” Oliver said. “For this reason, we have instituted our youth flu policy.”

That means that children under the age of 12 will not be allowed to visit loved ones who are patients at The Medical Center.

“We want to take every precaution to try to avoid people getting infected with the flu,” Oliver said.
The visitation ban is for all Navicent Health hospitals including The Medical Center, Navicent Health; Medical Center of Peach County, Navicent Health; Navicent Health Baldwin and Rehabilitation Hospital, Navicent Health.

If parents bring a child to The Medical Center, Oliver has this suggestion.

“We would ask a family member to stay with that child in the open atrium at the ground floor of the heart tower or in the cafeteria, and not have the children in the patient care areas of the hospital,” Oliver said.

The child visitor ban lasts until the end of flu season, some time in May. Children needing medical attention are still welcome to be seen at the hospital. The ban only applies to visitors.

Coliseum Medical Centers implemented a similar plan back in October. Their policy is below:
“If you have a fever or flu-like symptoms, please put on a mask and use a tissue to cover your mouth when you cough or sneeze. Masks, tissues, and hand sanitizers are located at each public entrance of the hospital.

For the protection of our patients, Coliseum Medical Centers and Coliseum Northside Hospital, ask that these individuals NOT visit patients or patient care areas:

• Any child under 12 years of age
• Any age visitor with fever or respiratory symptoms

Children must remain on the first floor and be supervised by an adult. In certain situations, visitation may be permitted for short visits, but must be approved by administration.

Thank you for your cooperation.”