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Pa. hospitals tighten visitor regulations in wake of H1N1

October 29, 2009|By JENNIFER FITCH

FRANKLIN COUNTY, Pa. -- Effective Monday, Summit Health will increase enforcement of visitor restrictions at Chambersburg Hospital and Waynesboro Hospital.

The limitations are designed to protect patients and hospital staff from the H1N1 virus, according to Summit Health, the parent organization of the two hospitals.

Volunteers will be posted at hospital entrances to enforce the restriction. Only visitors who are 18 or older and do not have flu-like symptoms will be allowed to visit patients unless special permission has been given, the news release stated.

Dr. Thomas Anderson, vice president of medical affairs for Summit Health, said the decision to restrict younger visitors was made because "children are at a greater risk of catching H1N1 and spreading it to others even before they display symptoms of the virus."

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Anderson also emphasized in the news release that the restriction applies to visitors and does not apply to children receiving care at the hospital.

The current visitor restrictions are temporary, but will be in effect until further notice, the news release stated.

Summit Health highlighted some alternative ways to interact with patients -- sending free e-cards or purchasing a gift from the online gift shop. Both options are available at www.summithealth.org.

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