News & Events
St. Anthony Announces New Visiting Guidelines During Influenza Season

Wednesday, 14 October 2009

St. Anthony Regional Hospital has made temporary changes to the hospital visiting policy in response to the increase in flu-like illness in the area.

St. Anthony is focusing on hospital visiting policies for all patients, but particularly at The Birth Place because one of the hardest hit populations is pregnant women, with 28 deaths already reported nationally this year. Also, because newborns are unable to receive the influenza vaccine until 6 months of age, they are unprotected from the virus.  “Our main goal at The Birth Place is to keep our expectant mothers as well as our new mothers and babies healthy by separating them from people who are ill or potentially ill,” said Diane Odendahl, RN, Infection Control Nurse Manager at St. Anthony.

Effective immediately, only parents and siblings 14 years or older will be allowed to visit a newborn baby at The Birth Place.   Those with appointments at The Birth Place for outpatient services will not be permitted to bring younger children with them to their appointments.
Visitors to other areas of the hospital are asked to stay home if they have a fever, chills, cough, or sore throat.  Patients with appointments in physical therapy, other physician clinics or for outpatient services are asked to reschedule if they have any signs of influenza-like illness. 

If an emergency visit to the hospital is needed, patients or family who are exhibiting flu-like symptoms will be asked to wear a mask when they arrive. 

St. Anthony recommends that anyone who is a patient should be called or emailed in place of making a visit in person.  Messages and greetings sent to patients using the hospital website,, are delivered daily.

If a visit is necessary, you are asked to use the hand sanitizer provided inside all patient rooms when arriving, as well as when leaving the patient’s room. 

Good hygiene for everyone this flu season is encouraged by coughing or sneezing into a tissue and disposing of the tissue properly.  Remember to cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, or into your sleeve if you do not have a tissue.   Then, remember to clean your hands every time you cough or sneeze.

St. Anthony’s main message to visitors is that it’s best to visit friends or family in the hospital only if you are directly involved in the patient’s recovery. 

This policy will stay in effect until the 2009 novel H1N1 influenza virus and seasonal flu is no longer a significant threat in the Carroll area. 

Diane Odendahl, RN, Infection Control Nurse Manage

St. Anthony Regional Hospital & Nursing Home
311 S. Clark
Carroll, IA 51401