June 29, 2016

Mostly clear

Visitors limited at area hospitals

AKRON — Children younger than 18 and those who are ill will be prohibited from visiting Medina County’s three hospitals in order to limit the spread of the flu.

The order came from the Akron Regional Hospital Association, of which
Medina Hospital, Lodi Community Hospital, Summa Wadsworth-Rittman Hospital and most Summit County hospitals are members.

Along with children younger than 18, those who are experiencing
flu-like symptoms, such as sore throat, diarrhea, headache, fever and chills, also will not be allowed to visit, according to a statement from the hospital association.

The restrictions frequently are ordered for a couple of weeks during the height of flu season, said Louise Lobotsky, infection control coordinator at Medina Hospital. However, the restrictions usually are put in place in mid- to late winter, so this year is unusual, she said.

It is uncertain how long the restrictions will last because flu cases already are widespread throughout the state, Lobotsky said.

The reason children are included in the restrictions is because they can contract and transmit the virus easily, she said.

Besides the county hospitals, others participating include: Affinity Medical Center, Akron General Medical Center, Alliance Community Hospital, Aultman Hospital, Mercy Medical Center, Regency Hospitals, Robinson Memorial, Select Specialty Hospitals, Summa Akron City Hospital, Summa Barberton Hospital, St. Thomas Hospital and Western Reserve Hospital.

The restrictions do not apply to Cuyahoga County hospitals.

Southwest General in Middleburg Heights does not have any visitor restrictions at this time, hospital media specialist Caroline Lautenbaker said.

Contact Allison Wood at (330) 721-4050 or allisonwood@ohio.net.