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The Tidelands Health Newsroom

Published on October 19, 2009

Georgetown Hospital System to Implement Patient Visitor Restrictions Oct. 26

Monday, October 19, 2009

Georgetown, SC Beginning Monday, Oct. 26, patient visitors at Georgetown Hospital System facilities must be 19 years or older.  Those 18 and younger will not be permitted to visit patients at Georgetown Memorial Hospital or Waccamaw Community Hospital.

This temporary restriction is a precaution designed to help prevent the spread of both seasonal and H1N1 influenza.  Since H1N1 influenza appears to be more widespread among children and young adults, restricting visits by these groups may help reduce the chance of spreading the flu to patients and hospital staff.

Normal visiting practices are expected to resume once the influenza incidence rate decreases.

"South Carolina is one of several states reporting widespread influenza activity.  Anything we can do to help protect our patients and staff from exposure is a helpful strategy," said Bruce P. Bailey, CEO, Georgetown Hospital System.

Exceptions to the visitation policy can be made in special individual circumstances such as visiting requests for gravely-ill inpatients.  Hospital personnel will work with family members in these cases to ensure appropriate safety protocols are followed for protection of patients and visiting children.

In making the announcement, hospital officials also reminded any member of the community with flu-like symptoms not to come into the hospitals unless they are seeking emergency department treatment.

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Tidelands Health is the largest health care provider in Georgetown and Horry counties. With three hospitals and nearly 50 outpatient locations that stretch from Andrews to North Myrtle Beach, Tidelands Health is improving lives across the Tidelands region.