Geisinger Restricts Children From Hospital Visits

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PLAINS TOWNSHIP -- Another hospital network is taking steps to prevent the spread of flu bug.

Geisinger Health System announced that due to the high level of cases, they are restricting children under the age of 12 from visiting all of its hospitals.

Until further notice, children cannot visit patients at any of Geisinger’s six hospitals in northeast and central Pennsylvania, including Geisinger Wyoming Valley in Plains Township.

Hospital officials made the decision as severe flu cases continue to rise and said they are doing this as a way to keep the illness from spreading further.

“Because of the frequency in the community to restrict the children under 12 because of the high incidence of them being contagious and potentially spreading the virus even before they’re symptomatic,” said Dr. Steven Pierdon, the chief medical officer at Geisinger Wyoming Valley.

Geisinger isn’t the only hospital system to be taking these types of precautions.

As of last week, Wayne Memorial Hospital in Honesdale is allowing only those 18 and older to visit patients in the maternity and pediatric units.

Both hospitals said they are seeing higher flu cases this year.

For parents with young children, they think the hospitals are taking the proper steps.

“Oh yeah, I know people that have had it two, three times already,” said Michelle Collis of Wilkes-Barre.

They said they wouldn’t want their children making someone already in the hospital even more ill or their children getting sick themselves.

“It makes me worry that they’re going to get it because it’s going to be worse for them, so I do, I watch everywhere I take them and I watch who they’re around all the time,” said Collis.

Both Wayne Memorial Hospital and Geisinger are asking anyone who is sick not to visit patients in the hospital, but rather visit by phone.