Mt. Vernon, Centralia Hospitals adjust visitor rules in wake of widespread flu

SOUTHERN ILLLINOIS — SSM Health Hospitals in Mt. Vernon and Centralia have adjusted their visitor rules in response to widespread influenza activity.

SSM Health Good Samaritan Hospital in Mt. Vernon and SSM Health St. Mary’s Hospital in Centralia both ask that visitors suffering flu-like symptoms not visit patients until they have recovered from the symptoms. These symptoms include high fever plus cough and/or sore throat.

Patients will be allowed a maximum of two visitors and no visitors under the age of 18. These rules are inaccordance with the Illinois Department of Public Health as well as the Center for Disease Control and Protection.

The hospitals also encourage good hand hygiene. The best way to prevent the spread of the flu is to cover coughs and sneezes, and to wash hands often, especially after coughing or sneezing into them.

The hospitals will revert back to their open visitation policy as soon as health officials believe the threat from influenza has abated.