MOULTRIE, Ga. — Shortly after announcing a steady increase in the number of influenza cases, Colquitt Regional Medical Center has enacted stricter visitation measures to limit the spread of the disease.

In a post to its Facebook page, the hospital said it is implementing the following measures for visitors:

• No children or youth visitors under the age of 18 at this time.

• Limit of one visitor at a time, and the visitor must wear a mask.

• No visitors will be allowed in ER treatment areas unless needed for a clinical reason.

• Everyone is requested to use hand sanitizer prior to entering and upon exiting patient areas.

On Dec. 31, the hospital reported a consistent increase in confirmed flu cases at the hospital in the preceding weeks. In just the first week of December, the Emergency Department treated 178 patients who tested positive for the flu, compared to 138 cases for the whole month of November, the hospital’s press release said.

 These numbers do not include outpatient clinics, but there has been confirmed increased flu activity across Sterling Physician Group clinics as well, the hospital said. 

 The CDC suggests several ways to prevent the flu in addition to getting the vaccine: avoid close contact with those who are sick or may be sick, stay home if possible if symptoms present, cover mouth and nose when coughing and sneezing, and wash hands frequently to help decrease spread of flu germs.

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