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To protect babies during flu season, MultiCare hospitals limit visitors

MultiCare Health System hospitals are taking extra precautions to protect vulnerable newborn babies. - Courtesy photo/MultiCare
MultiCare Health System hospitals are taking extra precautions to protect vulnerable newborn babies.
— image credit: Courtesy photo/MultiCare

For the Reporter

As influenza and other seasonal illnesses make their way through our community, MultiCare Health System hospitals are taking extra precautions to protect our vulnerable newborn patients.

Since the best way to protect these babies is to have fewer visitors, the following restrictions will be in place until further notice at MultiCare Tacoma General Hospital, MultiCare Good Samaritan Hospital in Puyallup, and MultiCare Auburn Medical Center. Additionally, Family Birth Center tours are temporarily suspended at the hospitals.

The Family Birth Centers at MultiCare Tacoma General Hospital, MultiCare Good Samaritan Hospital in Puyallup, and MultiCare Auburn Medical Center:

• At this time, visitors are limited to two designated individuals who are at least age 13 or older.

• All visitors should check in with the unit secretary to complete a wellness screening when they arrive.

• Anyone, including parents or designated support partners, who has one or more of the following symptoms are asked not to visit until they are well:

• Fever above 100.4 degrees

• Cough

• Sore throat

• Muscle aches or extreme fatigue

• Chills

• Vomiting, nausea or diarrhea

High-risk nurseries (NICU, ICN, SCN):

• At this time, only the baby's parents, or a designated support partner, may enter the nursery.

• All parents or designated support partners who plan to enter the nursery should check in with the unit secretary to complete a wellness screening when they arrive each day.

• Well parents and designated support partners will be provided with a sticker each day to demonstrate they have been screened

• Anyone, including parents or designated support partners, who has one of more of the following symptoms will be asked not to enter until they are well:

• Fever above 100.4 degrees

• Cough

• Sore throat

• Muscle aches or extreme fatigue

• Chills

• Vomiting, nausea or diarrhea

Well siblings and other family members are permitted in the waiting room. We recognize that siblings of newborns are excited to see their new baby. Unfortunately, young children are less likely to be able to identify and describe very early symptoms of infection – which is often the most infectious period for transmission to our patients. Viral infections in high-risk babies can be fatal or significantly prolong their hospitalization.

Thank you for partnering with us to protect our patients.

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