NORFOLK, Va. - A total of 26 medical centers from six different hospital chains around Hampton Roads are strongly recommending that visitors wear a protective mask inside their facilities.
The recommendation comes after flu levels in Hampton Roads reached widespread levels for the second week in a row, according to the Center for Disease Control.
In a news release, Sentara Health care explained the decision by saying the following:
All patients and visitors, even those who already received a flu shot, are strongly encouraged to wear masks inside healthcare facilities. The flu vaccine is the best prevention available but is not 100 percent effective. Masking provides an added layer of protection from the potentially deadly disease.
As healthcare providers, the collective goal is to protect the community from sickness and disease. Data suggests an infected person can spread the virus 24 hours before showing any signs or symptoms. This community-wide recommendation helps protect our patients, visitors and staff from exposure to flu, even before symptoms are noticeable.
Individuals experiencing flu-like symptoms are asked to stay home and refrain from visiting patients at area hospitals. Symptoms of flu include fever and respiratory illness symptoms such as cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, muscle aches, chills, and sometimes vomiting and diarrhea.
The recommendation to wear a mask when entering healthcare facilities will remain in effect during the flu season for as long as the disease is at widespread levels.
Participating medical entities include:
- Bon Secours DePaul Medical Center
- Bon Secours Mary Immaculate Hospital
- Bon Secours Maryview Medical Center
- Bon Secours Health Center at Harbour View
- Chesapeake Regional Healthcare
- Children’s Hospital of The King’s Daughters
- Naval Medical Center Portsmouth
- Riverside Doctors’ Hospital
- Riverside Regional Medical Center
- Riverside Shore Memorial Hospital
- Riverside Tappahannock Hospital
- Riverside Walter Reed Hospital
- Sentara Albemarle Medical Center
- Sentara CarePlex Hospital and Orthopedic Hospital at Sentara CarePlex
- Sentara Halifax Regional Hospital
- Sentara Leigh Hospital
- Sentara Martha Jefferson Hospital
- Sentara Martha Jefferson Emergency Department at Proffit Road
- Sentara Norfolk General Hospital and Sentara Heart Hospital
- Sentara Northern Virginia Medical Center
- Sentara Obici Hospital
- Sentara Princess Anne Hospital
- Sentara RMH Medical Center
- Sentara Virginia Beach General Hospital
- Sentara Williamsburg Regional Medical Center
- Sentara Freestanding Emergency Departments at BelleHarbour, Port Warwick, Independence and Lake Ridge