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Rising Flu Cases Prompt Visitor Restrictions

FAYETTEVILLE – Cape Fear Valley Health will implement a new visitation policy at all of its hospitals restricting children under age 12 from visiting the hospital at this time.

The policy goes into effect Wednesday, Dec. 17, and is designed to minimize the spread of flu and other flu-like diseases at Cape Fear Valley Medical Center, Highsmith-Rainey Specialty Hospital, Cape fear Valley Rehabilitation Center, Behavioral Health Care and Bladen County Hospital, as well as Harnett Health’s two hospitals: Betsy Johnson Hospital and Central Harnett Hospital.

In addition, Cape Fear Valley Medical Center’s Emergency Department will limit visitors while the policy is in place.
Individuals experiencing flu-like symptoms, such as fever, cough, sore throat and runny nose, are urged not to visit friends and family at the hospitals. Instead, they should stay at home and call their primary care physician for treatment guidance.

Christopher Aul, M.D., is Cape Fear Valley’s Chief Medical Officer. He says flu shots are still available and are the best way to prevent the spread of infection, but simple hygiene practices also help.

“Regular hand-washing and covering your nose and mouth while sneezing or coughing,” he said, “are the easiest ways to prevent the spread of infection. It helps us keep our patients, visitors and staff safe during the flu season.”

Cape Fear Valley Health will revisit the visitation policy when flu numbers decrease, usually in the spring.

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