CHARLOTTE, N.C. - Hospitals systems across North Carolina announced Monday that they are lifting flu-related visitor restrictions.
The restrictions are being lifted at Carolinas HealthCare, Novant Health Systems, Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center and Cone Health. The organizations announced the move will take effect Tuesday at 7 a.m. The restrictions were implemented Feb. 24 for Novant Health Inc., Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center and Cone Health facilities throughout their respective networks.
The systems say the move to lift the restrictions was prompted by a decline in the number of flu patients in recent weeks. They said individuals with flu symptoms still should not visit patients.
Charlotte-based Carolinas HealthCare and Winston-Salem-based Novant, which both have a large presence in the Piedmont, said they were lifting restrictions at the same date and time to avoid public confusion. Greensboro-based Cone Health and Winston-Salem-based Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center also are ending restrictions at the same time.
"On an on-going basis, Novant Health monitors for flu-related cases that are seen within our facilities," Dr. David Priest, medical director for infection prevention at Novant Health Inc., told the Winston-Salem Journal.
"We will continue to closely monitor for flu cases and will re-evaluate visitor restrictions as needed," Priest said. "Our number one priority is patient safety, which is at the heart of all decisions we make."
The N.C. Department of Health and Human Services reported last Thursday there have been 170 flu-related deaths in the state, including 13 deaths during the week that ended April 8
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