UK Healthcare restricts visitors during flu season

LEXINGTON, Ky. (WTVQ) – Some visitors might be turned away from UK Hospital if they don’t meet temporary flu restrictions.

This happens every year when the flu spikes.

UK Hospital is reporting 233 cases of the flu out of its lab which is three times higher than what it had last year.

“We make a group decision once we feel like that’s crossed a threshold to enact those restrictions,” said Derek Forster, Infectious Disease Physician.

Until further notice these are the rules: No visitors under the age of 12, no visitors under 18 in the bone marrow transplant unit, you can’t visit if you have the flu or any symptoms, only two people can visit a loved one’s room at a time, and in some areas of the hospital, you may be asked to wear a mask or protective clothing.

“I think it’s important to remember the restrictions are there for their safety as well,” said Kimberly Blanton, Infection and Protection Control Program at UK Healthcare.

Hope Jones visits her brother at the hospital. She says he has leukemia and after three weeks, he’s been taken off a ventilator.

Jones says she’s grateful for the flu restrictions so her brother isn’t at a higher risk of getting infections.

“If he gets any infections or anything he’ll be back on the ventilator,” said Hope Jones, Visitor.

Some visitors will get an exception to see their loved ones, but it will need to be approved by the patient’s doctor.

UK Healthcare officials say they will review the flu restriction weekly, but some years the restrictions were in place through April.

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