Valley Health announced today that flu visitation restrictions have been
lifted at all of the health system’s facilities, effective immediately.
Visiting hours at each of Valley Health’s six hospitals and Winchester
Rehabilitation Center will return to normal, which is 9 a.m. – 8
p.m. daily, with some exceptions for specialty care units.
Valley Health hospitals initiated restrictions on January 3, based on an
increase in flu in our regional community. Since then, employees, physicians
and volunteers have diligently explained the restrictions and redirected
visitors. The system’s Infection Control practitioners and medical
staff leadership regularly monitored the presence of the virus, in concert
with their local health departments.
Valley Health officials report that the incidence of influenza like illness
(ILI) this flu season was higher than in years past. During a typical
flu season, ILI peaks at 7-8% of all patients. This year, Winchester Medical
Center climbed to more than 13%. The first and largest wave of flu was
Influenza A; the second wave, late in the season, was Influenza B, and
was the reason Valley Health delayed lifting the visitation restrictions.
Because Influenza B is still present, though not widespread, Valley Health
encourages everyone to be disciplined about hand washing and respiratory
etiquette, and seek prompt medical care for those who are sick.
Valley Health leaders express their appreciation for the community’s
patience during the three-month flu-related visitor restrictions. While
visiting family and friends play a vital role in healing and recovery,
Valley Health’s top priority is to protect the health and safety
of patients and staff.