Officials at Spectrum Health Pennock Hospital in Hastings are joining other West Michigan hospitals in putting restrictions on visitors. Those who are ill are restricted from visiting friends or family members who are hospitalized, in an effort to reduce the spread of respiratory illnesses.
The Kent County Health Department Wednesday issued a press release announcing the restrictions. They affect all the major hospitals in the Grand Rapids area, including Spectrum Health, as well as all of Spectrum's regional hospitals, such as Pennock.
“Michigan is among the hardest-hit states for respiratory illnesses this season, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention,” Kent County Health Department spokesman Steve Kelso said in the release. “Respiratory illnesses, including RSV [respiratory syncytial virus], can be especially dangerous to the young, frail or elderly.”
All visitors are expected to be healthy, and the hospitals are taking active steps to protect patients, staff and visitors.
A healthy visitor is someone who does not have the following symptoms: Fever greater than 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit, cough, sore throat, runny nose or congestion, vomiting or diarrhea, and rash or draining sores.
Only healthy visitors may visit patients in the hospitals or outpatient locations.
Anyone with the above symptoms should consider a video visit with a provider, an appointment with his or her primary care physician or an urgent care visit.
These restrictions are effective until further notice. The measures are designed to protect vulnerable patients, as well as staff members. The hospitals will continue to monitor the situation and stay in contact with clinical leaders at health systems across the state to collaboratively and effectively address the situation, Kelso said.