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St. Vincent Implements Temporary Visitor Restriction Policy To Protect Against Influenza Spread
Updated March 11, 2016 6:29 AM | Filed under: Health
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(UNDATED) - Central Indiana is experiencing a significant increase in influenza-like illnesses (commonly known as flu) unusually late in the season. In an effort to protect its patients and associates, and limit the spread of the virus, St. Vincent is implementing a temporary Visitor Restriction Policy beginning on Friday, March 11, 2016.

In compliance with the Indianapolis Coalition for Patient Safety, visitation at St. Vincent will be restricted based the on the following criteria:

  • No visitors with influenza-like illness, fever or cough
  • No visitors under age 18
  • No visitors beyond immediate family, partner or significant other
The temporary restriction is in effect at the following St. Vincent locations:
  • Peyton Manning Children's Hospital at St. Vincent
  • St. Vincent Anderson
  • St. Vincent Carmel
  • St. Vincent Clay
  • St. Vincent Dunn
  • St. Vincent Fishers
  • St. Vincent Frankfort
  • St. Vincent Heart Center
  • St. Vincent Indianapolis
  • St. Vincent Jennings
  • St. Vincent Kokomo
  • St. Vincent Mercy
  • St. Vincent Randolph
  • St. Vincent Salem
  • St. Vincent Seton Specialty Hospital
  • St. Vincent Stress Center
  • St. Vincent Williamsport
  • St. Vincent Women's

Each year, an average of 36,000 Americans die; and more than 200,000 are hospitalized from serious influenza-related complications.

"This is a temporary restriction that will help us limit the spread of influenza and ensure that we're best equipped to provide exceptional care to our St. Vincent patients," said Dr. Richard Fogel, chief clinical officer at St. Vincent.

Influenza, most commonly known as the flu, is caused by a virus and is spread when an infected person coughs, sneezes or touches a contaminated surface. Symptoms typically include fever, muscle soreness and fatigue. Nausea, vomiting and diarrhea can occasionally occur in younger children. Symptoms usually last for one to two weeks in most people. Complications such as pneumonia may develop in the elderly population and among people who suffer from chronic illnesses, although it is rare.

Vaccination is the single best way to protect against the flu. In addition, Indiana residents should follow the recommendations below to prevent the spread of influenza:

  • Stay home from work, school, travel, and social gatherings for at least 24 hours after your fever is gone except to get medical care or other necessities.
  • Wash hands often with soap and water for 20 seconds.
  • Avoid touching eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Avoid kissing, hugging and sharing cups or eating utensils with people who are sick.
  • Disinfect frequently touched surfaces, such as toys and doorknobs, especially if someone is sick.
St. Vincent officials will continue to work with the Indiana State Department of Health and local health departments to monitor the volume of influenza cases, and will revise its temporary visitor restrictions as needed. For the most up-to-date information about the St. Vincent Visitor Restriction Policy, visit; and follow St. Vincent on Facebook and Twitter. For more information on seasonal influenza, see the CDC's guidelines at

St. Vincent Hospitals and Health Services

Driven by the faith of four Daughters of Charity who arrived in Indianapolis in 1881 with $34.77 in their pockets, the St. Vincent Hospital mission is to treat the poor and sick by following our Core Values of Service of the Poor, Reverence, Integrity, Wisdom, Creativity and Dedication. Our healthcare ministry has grown to include six Centers of Excellence: Women's, Children's, Orthopedics, Cardiovascular, Neuroscience and Cancer Care. The ageless mission of St. Vincent remains unchanged: to minister to the minds, bodies and spirits of those in need.

About Ascension

Ascension ( is a faith-based healthcare organization dedicated to transformation through innovation across the continuum of care. As the largest non-profit health system in the U.S. and the world's largest Catholic health system, Ascension is committed to delivering compassionate, personalized care to all, with special attention to persons living in poverty and those most vulnerable. In FY2015, Ascension provided nearly $2 billion in care of persons living in poverty and other community benefit programs. Approximately 160,000 associates and 36,000 aligned providers serve in 2,000 sites of care - including 137 hospitals and more than 30 senior living facilities - in 24 states and the District of Columbia. In addition to healthcare delivery, Ascension subsidiaries provide a variety of services and solutions including physician practice management, venture capital investing, investment management, biomedical engineering, clinical care management, information services, risk management, and contracting through Ascension's own group purchasing organization.

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