Please be aware that the flu season is upon us. Influenza activity is regional and increasing rapidly in both the Baltimore-Washington area and Florida. Thank you to everyone who got a flu vaccination this season, as it remains the best prevention strategy.
During the respiratory illness season, our patients are at an increased risk for catching respiratory viruses or colds from their visitors and from health care workers. Please take a few minutes to practice effective infection prevention. Remind your colleagues and visitors of some simple actions they can take to stop the spread of germs that make themselves or others sick.
To help prevent the spread of respiratory viruses:
- Stay home if you have a fever, and encourage your colleagues to stay home if they are ill.
- Encourage respiratory hygiene and cough etiquette. Cover your cough.
- Perform hand hygiene.
- Get a flu vaccination, even if you weren’t required to do so.
If you are a direct health care worker, you should also:
- Wear a mask if you have respiratory symptoms.
- Isolate patients who are symptomatic.
- Screen visitors and remind them not to visit if they are ill.
Visitation may be limited at your hospital based on your hospital’s policies. Also, please remember that if you are included in the mandatory influenza vaccination policy and received an exception, you must wear a mask if you are within 6 feet of a patient.
Sibley Memorial Hospital appreciates your commitment to keeping our patients, colleagues and visitors safe. Please contact the infection prevention department or occupational health and safety for more information. 202-537-4265 and 202-537-4266, respectively.