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Flu season impacts visitors at some area hospitals

Saturday - 2/22/2014, 8:49pm  ET

WASHINGTON -- This flu season is not only making people sick, it's also impacting those trying to visit patients at local hospitals. Although the measures are temporary, Inova Loudoun Hospital has put restrictions in place on visits to patients. The measures are due to an increase in the number of flu cases.

"As you know we're in the middle of the flu season here, " says Jane Donaldson, director of communications at Inova Health System. The visitor limits are all about protecting patients and hospital staff during flu season.

Inova Loudoun Hospital is presently not allowing kids under age 16 into the hospital to visit or allowing anyone with flu-like symptoms to visit patients. There is also a limit of two visitors for each patient. Additional measures may apply for oncology, adult critical care and children's health units.

"Right now, we do this for the protection of our patients," says Donaldson.

Visitors may be issued masks and may be asked to wash their hands frequently. Donaldson says if they see the number of flu cases are diminishing then they relax the policies. "In an effort to keep our patients, who are very vulnerable, safe and healthy. When it's necessary we institute temporary visitation polices," she says.

Inova Fair Oaks Hospital and Inova Fairfax Hospital currently have visitor limitations in place as well. But the hospitals will reassess on a weekly basis.

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