In an effort to minimize the risk of influenza at its local hospitals, two major healthcare providers have announced restrictions for patient visits.
Kaleida Health announced Monday all visitors must obtain a visitor pass at the Information or Security Desks before entering any patient areas. Only two visitors are allowed per patient at any one time and no visitors under the age of 14 are permitted.
"It's an accountability issue. The less amount of people at the bedtime, the less likely there is a chance for spreading the flu," said Kaleida Vice President Michael Hughes.
Kaleida is also asking people with cold or flu symptoms, fevers, or rashes to avoid visiting patients at this time. Catholic Health is imposing similar restrictions.
Both healthcare operations have patients in hospitals who have extremely bad flu cases. Kaleida is encouraging its staff members who deal with patients to make sure they have had a flu shot.
The Kaleida facilities under the restrictions are the Buffalo General Medical Center and Gates Vascular Institute, Millard Fillmore Suburban Hospital, Women and Children's Hospital of Buffalo, and DeGraff Memorial Hospital in North Tonawanda.
At Catholic Health, officials say the problems of inpatient flu cases appear to be easing.