Published on March 29, 2019

Owensboro Health Regional Hospital ends visitor restrictions as flu activity continues to decline

OWENSBORO, Ky. (March 29, 2019) – Visitor restrictions at Owensboro Health Regional Hospital were ended today, with flu activity on the decline throughout the region and the state.

Visitor restrictions were put into place on January 24 of this year, when statewide flu activity reached the “widespread” level and the hospital had more than 75 positive rapid flu tests in a seven-day period. Restrictions were ended after statewide flu activity dropped from “widespread” to “regional” and 48 rapid flu tests in the week of March 22 to 29.

Laura Gillim, RN, an infection prevention specialist at OHRH, said while this is welcome news, it’s still important to exercise caution.

“The number of influenza cases is typically greatest from October to April, but we see cases of the flu year-round,” Gillim said. “No matter what time of year it is, we always encourage people to use good hand hygiene and to cover their coughs and sneezes.”

Visitor restrictions at OHRH asked for the following:

· Visitors kept to a minimum and only included persons essential for the patient’s care and emotional well-being. · No children under age 18 visiting patients · Anyone with a cold, respiratory illness or flu symptoms was asked to refrain from visiting o These symptoms include one or more of the following: Fever or chills, cough, sore throat, runny nose and/or sneezing, muscle/body aches, headaches and fatigue Visit www.cdc.gov/flu for more information about the flu and this year’s flu season.

Contact: Dariush Shafa, Marketing Specialist, Owensboro Health Marketing & Public Relations, (O) 270-685-7738, (C) 270-925-0227, Dariush.Shafa@OwensboroHealth.org.

About Owensboro Health

Owensboro Health is a nonprofit health system with a mission to heal the sick and to improve the health of the communities it serves in Kentucky and Indiana. The system includes Owensboro Health Regional Hospital, nationally recognized for design, architecture and engineering and the only hospital in the world to be designated a Signature Sanctuary by Audubon International, Owensboro Health Muhlenberg Community Hospital, the Owensboro Health Medical Group comprising over 180 providers in 25 locations, a certified medical fitness facility, and the Mitchell Memorial Cancer Center. Owensboro Health has been recognized for outstanding care, safety and clinical excellence by The Joint Commission, U.S. News & World Report and Becker’s Hospital Review. As the largest employer west of Louisville, Owensboro Health has 4,088 employees, and in FY 2015 saw 18,380 inpatient admissions and 823,072 outpatient encounters. A committed community partner, Owensboro Health provided grants of $702,924 in the last year to health, social service, education and arts agencies across the region. For more information, visit owensborohealth.org.