The Springfield-Greene County Health Department is reporting large increases in flu cases over the last two weeks, causing local healthcare providers to take precautionary steps to protect staff and patients.
CoxHealth and Mercy are restricting visitors who may have a respiratory illness. Both facilities are telling anyone that is showing signs of a respiratory illness not to come to any of their hospital locations to visit a patient.
Also, anyone who has knowingly been in contact with someone who has the flu or a respiratory illness in the previous 48 hours is asked to not visit a hospital because of a 2-day incubation period when someone is infectious before showing signs of an illness.
The hospitals are also restricting minors from visiting units connected to babies: Mercy is prohibiting children under 14 from baby units; CoxHealth is restricting children from the NICU at Cox South.
If someone who has signs of respiratory illness is required to visit a hospital, they are requested to use a “cough station” near the entrance that includes hand sanitizer and masks.
Information on the flu is available at the Springfield-Greene County Health Department’s website.