UNC Health Care is implementing visitor restrictions in an attempt to limit flu case increases.
The restrictions will impact UNC Hospitals in Chapel Hill and UNC REX Hospital in Raleigh, according to a release from the health care system.
Children ages 11 and under will be prohibited from visiting inpatients and inpatient waiting rooms at UNC Hospitals in Chapel Hill, Hillsborough and Wakebrook campuses. They will also be prohibited from perioperative waiting rooms at UNC Medical Center and Hillsborough Hospital. The 11-year-old and younger visitors will be allowed to visit inpatient hospice. These restrictions will go into effect on Monday, January 14.
Similar restrictions are being implemented at UNC REX Hospital in Raleigh on Friday, January 11.
“We understand that visitor restrictions at our hospitals present challenges for families and can be difficult for children who have a loved one receiving treatment and care,” officials said in a release. “However, our priority is protecting vulnerable patients as the number of flu cases in the Triangle and statewide continues to increase.”
Health care officials are encouraging those would-be visitors affected by the restrictions to write letters or emails to the patients. Parents are also asked to “help children stay connected while these visitor restrictions are in place through Skype or FaceTime.”
While the restrictions are for young visitors, officials said that anyone with a fever, cough, runny nose or sore throat should not visit the hospital unless receiving medical care.
There is no word on when these restrictions will be lifted.