RiverStone Health and Unified Health Command partners Billings Clinic and St. Vincent Healthcare are seeing a decline in the number of reported influenza cases in recent weeks and have lifted visitor restrictions in hospitals; however, restrictions in the neo-natal intensive care units (NICU) remain in place.
Restrictions were implemented after the first of the year as part of a community effort to prevent and control the spread of respiratory disease.
“While it’s too early to say definitively that the influenza season has peaked, we have noticed a significant decline in reported influenza cases in recent weeks. Because of this decline, we have lifted visitor restrictions in hospitals,” said John Felton, Yellowstone County Health Officer and RiverStone Health president and chief executive officer. “This year’s influenza season has out-paced last year’s with more than 750 reported cases of influenza compared to last year’s total 119 reported cases.”
Visitors under the age of 18 years will now be permitted in hospitals. However, it is always a good idea to refrain from visiting individuals in healthcare facilities when visitors are experiencing symptoms and signs of illness.