UPDATED: UT Medical Center institutes visitor restrictions due to school illnesses and flu

Local News

As more and more schools have made the move to close, it garners the question, ‘What’s going on?’
Especially since the positive flu case numbers for East Tennessee seem to indicate the virus was not hitting the area very hard this year, compared to last.

In response to increasing flu in the community and school closings due to illness, UT Medical Center has instituted visitor restrictions, the hospital said in a news release Friday.

UT Medical Center’s Infection Prevention Manager, Jennifer Radtke, said earlier this week while UT Medical Center is seeing a slight increase in the number of patients with the flu, it is nowhere near what the hospital saw this time last year.

For 2019, Radtke said it’s a lot of upper respiratory virus’ making the rounds as well as some gastro intestinal illness and the 24-hour stomach virus we typically see this time of year.

Radtke noted that often schools close because they don’t have the staff to take care of the kids in the classroom if they too are out due to illness.

With so many schools in the area closing, it’s been a driving factor for the hospital to implement its visitor restriction policy.

“With all the schools that are closing in our region, you know we have some concerns about the safety of our patients and our team members here,” Radtke said. “We’ll be restricting visitation by those under the age of 12 as well as by anyone who is sick, unless they’re seeking medical care, if you’re coming in for medical care we will happily take care of you.”

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

WATE 6 On Your Side Twitter