Leaders at the Winchester Medical Center have taken a rare step to try to get a handle on the flu season by putting some restrictions on visiting hours.
Leaders have put some restrictions on visiting hours.
Dr. Nicolas Restrepo, Vice President of Medical Affairs at WMC says, "By reducing those visiting hours, you reduce the amount of traffic and flow through the institution, you reduce the number of people that can be exposed to the flu because it's here with a patient and also the exposure to our patients and staff of people coming in and bringing the flu with them."
Dr. Restrepo says the primary objective is to provide safe patient care so having a safe environment is really important.
There are now two hour slots for visitors each day.
They have also limited the number of visitors per room at the same time.
There are some exceptions to the rules for certain units and situations.
Dr. Restrepo tells TV3, "There is a process to exempt some folks when it's necessary but we don't want to do that too often because we really need to do these restrictions to protect people."
Officials say they have had to do this at the WMC before.
The last time was in 2009 when they were hit hard by the swine flu.
Dr. Restrepo adds, "At this point we don't really have a fixed time frame (to end the restrictions). We anticipate probably at least another six weeks or so of the flu season based on what the CDC is telling us and what we'll do is we'll continue reassessing our plan and ultimately what we're doing is in the best interest of the patients and the safest thing for the patients and all the members of the health care team."
In the meantime, Dr. Restrepo really stressed hand hygiene as something that protects you in a big way.