Springfield hospitals lift visitor flu restrictions

Previously, both CoxHealth and Mercy would not allow anyone 14 and younger to visit someone in the hospital, but NICU still does have restrictions.
Published: Feb. 3, 2023 at 5:29 PM CST
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SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (KY3) - For those visiting Springfield hospitals, the restricted visitor regulations have been lifted because of fewer flu cases.

“As of 8 a.m., this morning, we did drop our visitor restriction for kiddos, you know, ages 14 and under, for our inpatient areas with the exception of NICU for the little babies. Because of that, we are still seeing some respiratory illnesses in those little ones. So for the older kiddos or family members that they would like to come in and visit then they are allowed,” said Christy Bos, an Infection Prevention Specialist at Mercy.

Both hospitals say coming up with the visitor regulations is not taken lightly.

“We really watch every week, we track the data of, you know, really any type of illness. Here lately, we’ve had a lot of surging and our respiratory illnesses such as RSV, you know, the flu, and COVID numbers, but everything seems to be trending downward for over the last few weeks,” said Bos.

The flu hit people strong this season.

“Typically, we hit our peak flu season in February. So when you go back and look over the last several years, February is our big high point, and so we start seeing them pick up in January, think of all through February, and then start dropping down in March. This year was a little unusual, it started very early,” said Ashley Casad, President of Cox Springfield Hospitals.

Both hospitals say having similar restrictions does make it easier on the community.

“We worked with Mercy and the Springfield-Greene County Health Department and we tried to do it in tandem. I know it makes it easier for the community to not have to remember separate visitation policies,” said Casad.

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