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Mary Washington Hospital at Yellow Status for Flu

The emergency departments report seeing more flu patients in the last 30 days.

Mary Washington Hospital Center (MWHC) has seen a 15 percent increase in flu patients at its three emergency departments within the last 30 days, Debbie McInnis, director of Public Relations, told Patch.

The hospital has a flu policy and plan in place. "We follow the latest flu information from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Virginia Department of Health to assist us in making decisions relative to where we are in the plan," McInnis said. 

"The latest flu information from the CDC and the Virginia Department of Health indicates flu in the Fredericksburg region is quickly becoming widespread," she said.  The hospital has moved to 'yellow status' to help protect patients, visitors and associates.

"When we are in yellow status we encourage our visitors with influenza like illness symptoms to refrain from visiting, if possible," McInnis said.

Symptoms of influenza-like illnesses include fever over 100.4º, sore throat, cough, body aches, sneezing, runny nose and headache.

The attached flier explains what each of MWHC's three status mean relative to  visitor guidelines and associate policy:

GREEN

  • No patient visitors with any symptoms of influenza-like illnesses
  • Visitors may be issued masks or other protective clothing

YELLOW

  • No patient visitors with any symptoms of influenza-like illnesses
  • Patient visitors may be issued masks or other protective clothing
  • Associates who declined a flu shot must wear masks

RED

  • Patient visitors are limited to spouses/significant others, parents, or direct caregivers (son, daughter, or other family members responsible for care) only
  • Patient visitors are limited to two per patient at all times
  • No overnight patient visitors
  • No patient visitors under the age of 18
  • No patient visitors with any symptoms of influenza-like illnesses
  • Patient visitors may be issued masks or other protective clothing
  • Associates who declined a flu shot must wear masks

About 88 percent of Mary Washington Healthcare Associates have had the flu vaccine, McInnis said.  Wearing masks in all MWHC facilities is an additional step in preventing the spread of the flu.  "As a precaution, associates who have not received the flu vaccine are required to wear masks," McInnis said.  "Vaccines continue to be available for any associate who would like one." Associates wearing masks let patients and visitors know that they are wearing them as an additional precaution.

"We have enough vaccines at both hospitals to take care of our patients and associates," McInnis said.  She said MWHC reviews all information weekly to determine status.

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