In light of the growing numbers of H1N1 influenza cases in central Illinois, Methodist Medical Center, in conjunction with OSF St. Francis Medical Center, Proctor Hospital, and Pekin Hospital, are restricting the age of visitors to their facilities.

Effective immediately, and until further notice, hospital visitors will be limited to those 12 years of age and older. In addition, it is strongly recommended that anyone showing flu-like symptoms please refrain from visiting patients in the hospital.

This request is being made out of respect for our patients, many of whom already have compromised immune systems. Children have been particularly susceptible to the H1N1 virus and may be contagious prior to showing symptoms.

Debbie Simon, Senior Vice President and Chief Operating Officer for Methodist said, "We are taking this step to help ensure the safety of our patients and visitors. Family and friends can help by keeping children at home, and by staying home themselves if they are experiencing flu-like symptoms."

In addition to the visitor restriction for hospitalized patients, it is also recommended families limit the number of relatives and friends accompanying patients to the Emergency Department, outpatient surgery waiting rooms, procedure areas, and primary care/specialist offices.

This policy will remain in effect for the foreseeable future.


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