Palmetto Health hospitals and outpatient facilities initiate visitors restrictions in response to flu season

Palmetto Health hospitals and outpatient facilities initiate visitors restrictions in response to flu season

Posted on 1/24/2018

Hospital system asks the community for its help this flu season

Due to a rise in the number of community members with cold or flu-like symptoms visiting Palmetto Health hospitals, outpatient facilities and emergency rooms, Palmetto Health has initiated visitor restrictions for its facilities to prevent the spread of illness. These restrictions are in effect until further notice. Under the new restrictions: 

  • Palmetto Health requests that any visitor who has cold or flu-like symptoms not visit anyone in our facilities.
  • In addition, the hospital system is restricting anyone under 18 from visiting. Since children are more likely to get sick and spread the flu, our staff will only allow children under 18 to visit patients in special cases -- or with prior approval from the patient’s health care team.
  • Limiting the number of visitors to two adults per patient at any one time. Limiting the number of visitors per patient also will help control the spread of the illness.
  • In case you forget about new restrictions, our staff will be giving you gentle reminders to make sure we are all doing what we can to keep everyone as healthy as possible. If you have questions, feel free to ask any member of your care team.

“We really need our community to help us this flu season by following these restrictions. These have been initiated because the flu this year is very active. It’s impacting our entire health care community including all emergency rooms and outpatient care facilities. There are extremely long waits and an overflow of patients. We want to do everything that we can to assist those who are sick and prevent others from becoming sick,” said Steve Shelton, M.D., emergency room physician and Palmetto Health medical director of Emergency Management.

Shelton added, “These restrictions are just part of what we are doing to help care for our community during this heightened flu season. We also are looking for ways to increase capacity to care for more community members in addition to trying to find a way to see them more quickly. We are thankful to our community for their assistance as we get through this season.”

The community also is reminded of these simple tips to prevent the spread of flu: 

  • Clean your hands frequently. Look for hand hygiene stations around the hospital and use them often. Please make sure to clean your hands when entering and leaving the hospital either by washing with soap or rubbing your hands together with hand sanitizer.
  • Cover your cough. You can easily spread the flu as a result of coughs, sneezes or simply talking.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth. Germs spread this way.
  • It’s not too late to get the flu vaccine if you haven't done so already. Getting this simple shot can help increase your chances of staying healthy and avoid getting others sick.

Palmetto Health has several same day care options for those who need treatment for the flu. For more information, visit


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