Winchester Hospital revises visitation policy for children during holiday season

Staff reports

Due to a recent drop in H1N1 flu cases, Winchester Hospital will lift its ban on visitors younger than 18 beginning Sunday.

In an effort to protect patients and visitors from seasonal and H1N1 flu, Winchester Hospital restricted patients’ visitors to healthy individuals 18 years of age and older since Nov. 9. This policy was based on recommendations from the Massachusetts Department of Public Health and U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which indicate that pregnant women and young people are among the most vulnerable to H1N1.

All visitors to Winchester Hospital are still requested to wash their hands or use a gel hand cleanser before entering and leaving a patient’s room. Visitors are further requested to cough or sneeze into the bend of their elbow.

Beginning Jan. 1, 2010, Winchester Hospital will reevaluate its visitation policy on a weekly basis based on influenza activity.

“Winchester Hospital is dedicated to delivering the safest, highest quality care to our patients during influenza season,” said Kathy Schuler, vice president of patient care services and chief nursing officer at Winchester Hospital. “We will continue to work with the Department of Public Health to keep the public informed as new information about H1N1 becomes available.”

Winchester Star