Duke lifts flu restrictions

Feb. 11, 2013 @ 05:03 PM


With the flu season finally winding down, Duke University Health System has lifted restrictions on visitors.

Tom Owens, the health system’s chief medical officer, notified staff Monday that “given the significant decrease in reported influenza activity in the community and the state,” hospital facilities will now go back to normal visitation policies.

In late December, as the flu season gathered steam, visitation at Duke and its affiliated hospitals was restricted to only family members or designated caregivers over the age of 18 who had no flu-like symptoms.

The season spiked early, with Duke seeing dozens of patients in the beginning of January.  

While the restrictions have been lifted, Owens told staff, however, that “all visitors should continue to be reminded to follow standard flu precautions including good hand hygiene; visitors who are sick should still be instructed by staff to leave the hospital.”

He also reminded staff that flu vaccine remains plentiful and that “everyone over the age of six months, who does not otherwise have a contraindication, is eligible for the vaccine.”

Vaccination, he wrote, “is the best thing we can do to protect our patients and co-workers from the flu.”