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Porter adjusts visiting during flu season

MIDDLEBURY - During the flu season, Porter Hospital has made some changes in the visiting policies on the Birthing Center, according to Kathy Hoxsie, nurse manager of the Unit.

"The number of visitors allowed to visit mom and baby will be limited to two, and it will be helpful if these visitors remained the same throughout the stay" Hoxsie said. "The father of the baby will be allowed in at all times but must wear a mask if any signs or symptoms of illness and visitors under the age of 18 will not be allowed onto the unit."

According to Hoxsie, there will be special visiting hours for siblings-who must be symptom free of illness such as fever and or cough-between 3-6 p.m. each day. No other children will be allowed onto the unit as visitors.

Visitors should expect to be greeted at the door to the Birthing Center by staff, who will be asking questions about illness. Any one with any signs of illness will not be allowed onto the Unit. "We also will ask that everyone use good hand washing at all times"

Hoxsie added.

"We are asking our patients to please help us by informing family and friends of these new policies before you come into the hospital, as we are doing this to protect you and your new baby as well as the other families on the unit" Hoxsie said. "We do strongly encourage you to get your seasonal flu shot as well as the H1N1 vaccine. "

She said that this policy may change as the season progresses, and that the hospital will keep the patients and community updated.

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