Inter-Lakes amends visiting policy

TICONDEROGA - Inter-Lakes Health is temporarily restricting visitors to the facility in an effort to keep patients, residents and staff healthy.

The visiting precautions are being implemented because influenza and other respiratory viruses spread easily in small rooms and close quarters, and many people that have only minimal symptoms or that may be recovering from influenza could still be infectious to patients, residents, and anyone with whom they come in contact, according to Inter-Lakes officials.

Inter-Lakes Health continues its efforts to keep patients, residents and staff healthy by administering the influenza vaccine to all staff members who are required to be vaccinated and by closely monitoring and implementing the latest recommendations from state and federal health agencies.

With Gov. David Paterson having declared the H1N1 influenza a pandemic public health emergency, Inter-Lakes Health is implementing the following temporary measures:

• Effective immediately, and until further notice, no visitors under the age of 18 will be allowed to visit patients or residents in the hospital or nursing home, regardless of their health status;

• All adult visitors must wash their hands or use alcohol-based hand sanitizer upon entering and leaving any patient/resident care unit;

• Family, off-duty staff, and other visitors must not visit if they have any signs or symptoms of an upper respiratory infection, vomiting or diarrhea, fever, or flu- like symptoms (sore throat, aching all over, fever/chills, etc.);

• Adult visitors who are not ill are currently welcome to visit, but are asked to check-in with the charge nurse on each unit for specific instructions prior to visiting any patient/resident;

• Visitation may be further restricted or totally denied in the future if any of the facility's units have been deemed to have "an outbreak of illness."

"We understand that this may raise family members' concerns about a patient or resident, and we encourage you to maintain telephone contact with your family member," said Pat Dowd, Inter-Lakes spokesman. "Please continue to feel free to contact the nurse manager or unit coordinator with any health care issues, or contact the social worker for any other concerns you may have about your loved one.

"Please be assured that we only have your family member's best interest in mind with these temporary visitation changes," he said.

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