Out of concern for the health and wellbeing of the community, and due to
the widespread prevalence of respiratory viruses such as RSV and flu among
young children, several North Carolina health systems ask that children
12 and under not visit patients who are hospitalized.
These restrictions are effective Wednesday, Nov. 16, at 7 a.m., and apply
to hospitals in North Carolina that are part of the following health systems:
Atrium Health, Atrium Health Wake Forest Baptist, CaroMont Health, Cone
Health, Novant Health, and Randolph Health
Masks are still required for visitors. Individuals aged 13 years and over
who are experiencing flu-like symptoms such as runny nose, sore throat,
fever or cough should not visit patients being treated at area hospitals.
However, people who are seeking treatment at hospitals are not subject
to the restriction. Children may be permitted to visit hospitalized patients
under special circumstances, such as visiting a dying family member. In
these instances, parents should work with their care team to make arrangements.
Area health systems also remind the community to continue taking measures
that are known to limit the spread of respiratory viruses. Health officials
strongly encourage people to stay home when sick, maintain good respiratory
etiquette such as hand washing and covering the nose and mouth when sneezing
or coughing, and most importantly, get vaccinated against flu and COVID-19
– including the latest COVID-19 fall boosters – to best protect
against illness heading into the holiday season.
In addition to protecting against infection, both the flu and COVID-19
vaccines can protect against the downstream effects of those infections
such as heart attack and stroke. People who are at high-risk for complications
– particularly those with diabetes, high blood pressure or heart
and lung problems – are more likely to experience a heart attack
or stroke in the weeks following a flu or COVID-19 infection.
As always, patients are asked to only visit the emergency department if
they are experiencing a serious or life-threatening illness or injury.
Those who need medical attention for more routine cough, fever, fatigue
and other flu-like symptoms should contact their primary care provider.
Other options include urgent care centers and virtual visits that are
offered by each of the health systems.
It is important to note that some hospitals and health systems may have
additional restrictions on visitors in certain areas. For example, Atrium
Health Wake Forest Baptist Brenner Children’s Hospital does not
permit visitors under the age of 18, except in special situations.
For current visitor restrictions at each health system, please visit the