Hospital asks visitors to limit visits

February 25, 1999|By MARLO BARNHART

With the number of sick people on the rise again at Washington County Hospital, officials asked Wednesday that visitors limit visits until the crisis has passed.

"We would hope visitors would be limited to immediate family and no small children," said Beth Kirkpatrick, hospital spokeswoman.

The number of patients, which hit a high of 260 last Wednesday, dropped to about 220 over the weekend, prompting a brief return to normal schedules, Kirkpatrick said.

By Tuesday, though, the number was inching up again and had reached 251 this morning, she said.

A week ago, hospital officials said they were canceling all elective surgery through the end of that week because of the number of patients admitted with flu and flu-like illnesses.

When that happens, same-day surgery beds are turned into medical beds and staff is shifted to deal with the changes.

Today the hospital is still only performing emergency surgeries, Kirkpatrick said.


Kirkpatrick stressed that the emergency room is open and operating with a capacity to take care of people in need of medical care.

"The emergency room is open 24 hours a day and will never turn anyone away," Kirkpatrick said.

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