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Cox and St.John's Consider New Visitor's Policy

Due to the spread of the H1N1 flu virus, two Springfield hospitals are considering following in the footsteps of a Bolivar hospital and banning children 14 years old and younger from visiting. Administrators from St. John’s and Cox Hospitals will be meeting with Greene County Health Department officials, Tuesday, to decide on whether to implement the new policy. KSMU’s Kristian Kriner reports.

Greene County Health Department officials say over half of the confirmed cases of the flu have been found in kids ages 5-14.

Cora Scott is the spokesperson for St. John’s Hospital

“It just makes sense to insure the safety of our co-workers and other patients that we don’t allow people who are having flu-like symptoms in to visit those patients,” Scott said.

She says both Cox and St. John’s haven’t made any final decisions about the new visitor’s policy.

Administrators at Citizens Memorial Healthcare in Bolivar already implemented the new policy last week.

Tamera Heitz-Peek is the director of marketing for Citizens Memorial Healthcare.“We had been seeing an increase in patients who were coming through the ER with the flu, which is pretty common right now because of not only the H1N1, but the regular flu as well,” Heitz-Peek said.

She says anyone under the age of 14 or people who have flu-like symptoms should not come to any of the CMH facilities to visit patients.

Heitz-Peek reminds people that children who are sick or injured are still allowed to come into the hospital to receive treatment.

For KSMU News, I’m Kristian Kriner.