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San Joaquin Community Hospital to Limit Visitation, Use Additional Internal Space for Flu Treatment

Health Alert Due to the high number of flu cases in Kern County, San Joaquin Community Hospital (SJCH), along with the rest of our community, is taking steps to protect our patients, families, and staff.

As of 10 a.m. on Friday, Oct. 16, visitors under the age of 18 will not be permitted to enter the hospital (including Maternity Care Center), except for special circumstances. Due to the fact that the vast majority of flu cases have been in young children, hospital leadership has deemed it necessary to restrict the population that would have the most impact of decreasing the spread of flu in the hospital, while limiting the exposure of hospitalized patients that might have the flu to children. Furthermore, the hospital is also limiting visits to two people per patient per room at a time. Any visitor presenting flu-like symptoms will be asked to leave the hospital.

“Quite simply, we want our hospital to be as safe for everyone as possible,” said SJCH President and CEO Robert J. Beehler. “By limiting children from entering the hospital, we’re able to protect them from contracting the flu as well as slowing the spread of flu inside our facility.”

Over the course of the last few weeks, SJCH has seen a dramatic increase in emergency room visits—much of which is a result of the onset of flu season. To accommodate this increase in volume, the hospital is utilizing additional internal space in order to meet the needs of our patients more effectively and efficiently.

In order to allow all the hospitals in our community to continue to function properly, flu patients should only come to the ER if they have a fever of greater than 100.4 and cough, sore throat, nasal congestion, headache, fatigue, body aches, vomiting or diarrhea.

“If you have the flu, the best thing that you can do is to stay home, drink lots of water, and get plenty of rest,” said Melody Smith, RN and SJCH infection control nurse. “You should only come to the hospital if your symptoms are severe or don’t improve after several days."