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Hospital lifts visiting, building entrance restrictions

Posted Nov 23rd, 2009

Niagara, ON.: Niagara Health System (NHS) returns to regular practices today with the lifting of visiting restrictions and building entrance restrictions that were put into place during the height of the H1N1 flu pandemic to help prevent the spread of illness and manage the flow of traffic throughout the hospital.

“We appreciate people’s support and understanding with the temporary restrictions that were established to maintain the overall health and safety of the patients, staff, physicians, visitors, volunteers and the general public,” says Tracy Fattore, Regional Director of Risk Management. “We are still seeing patients with flu but the numbers have dropped significantly since the H1N1 outbreak began in late October.”  

NHS Emergency Rooms (ERs) and Urgent Care Centres (UCCs) saw a 2.7 percent overall increase in patient volumes yesterday as compared to the daily average in September; 537 patients yesterday compared to the September daily average of 512. Of the 537 patients seen in the ERs and UCCs, 24 per cent of patients, or 130 patients, presented with flu symptoms.

The Flu Assessment Centre operated by NHS closed on Sunday, November 15, 2009. Between November 2 and 15, the Flu Assessment Centre at the Ontario Street Site in St. Catharines treated a total of 437 patients, helping to take some of the pressure off the ERs and UCCs by redirecting patients with mild flu symptoms to the centre.

Adults and children with mild flu symptoms should go to a physician, walk-in clinic or UCC. Mild symptoms include: fever, dry cough, sore throat, mild vomiting, diarrhea, headache, body/muscle aches.  Those with severe symptoms should call 911 or go to the nearest ER.

For more information on this news release, please contact:

Caroline Bourque Wiley
Consultant, Public Affairs
905-378-4647, ext. 43113

Niagara Health System