Visitation restriction now in place at Dubuque hospitals - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Visitation restriction now in place at Dubuque hospitals

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DUBUQUE (KWWL) -

Walking up to the Mercy Medical Center lobby you see yellow signs.

They're prohibiting all children under the age of 14 or anyone else who has flu symptoms to not visit patients in the hospital.

The same restriction is in place at their Dyersville location.

This also is in place at UnityPoint Finley Hospital in Dubuque.

Medical experts tell me they're doing this as a safety precaution for patients, employees, but also visitors.

"And over the last three weeks its incrementally gone up, doubled itself. So, when we saw those numbers go up to a good percentage of positivity, that's when we put our restrictions in place," said Gail Gates, infection prevention specialist at Mercy. 

Last year the hospitals did not have to take this precaution.

That's because flu season was shorter, but that's not the case this year.

This restriction will be in effect until medical professionals see a decrease of flu cases. 

Doctors also say the most important thing you can do to prevent getting the flu is washing your hands to decrease the spread of germs. They also recommend getting the flu shot. 

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Dubuque hospitals implemented a visitation restriction Monday due to Influenza A in Dubuque, according to a press release sent out Monday morning.

The Chairperson of the Bi-Hospital Infection Control Committee, Dr. Honorio Caceres, said the restriction will take place at Mercy Medical Center (both Dubuque and Dyersville) and UnityPoint Finley Hospital.

All children under age 14 and people of any age with respiratory and/or influenza symptoms, such as coughing, fever, aches, and nausea, are asked and expected not to visit hospitalized patients until further notice.

The restriction is a safety precaution to maintain a healthy hospital environment for patients and visitors and employees at Dubuque area hospitals. 

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