SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – The number of flu cases in western Massachusetts is at its highest level in three years, so Baystate Health is enacting new visitor restrictions for its hospitals. Effective immediately, no visitors under the age of 14 will be permitted at Baystate hospitals. Additionally, Baystate Health is recommending no more than two visitors per patient, and they are asking for anyone who has flu symptoms, or may have been exposed to the flu at home, to stay away from hospital patients.
According to a news release sent to 22News by Baystate spokesperson Brendan Monahan, the policy changes are being enacted to “provide the safest environment possible for patients, visitors, and staff during the flu season.” Baystate Reference Labs has found that the number of flu cases in western Massachusetts has not been this high since 2014, the last time that the hospital system enacted such visitor restrictions.
In addition to the guidelines for visitors, Baystate is also encouraging anyone who visits their hospitals to get a flu shot, to assess their own health before visiting, and to wash their hands before entering and after leaving a patient’s room.