Published on January 02, 2020

 UNC Hospitals and UNC REX Implement New Visitor Restrictions Due to Flu

Visitor restrictions aimed at protecting patients and staff as number of flu cases increases.

CHAPEL HILL and RALEIGH, N.C. – Jan. 2, 2020 – In order to protect patients during the peak of flu season, UNC Hospitals in Chapel Hill and UNC REX Hospital in Raleigh will implement new visitor restrictions:

  • Beginning Monday, Jan. 6, children less than 12 years old are prohibited from visiting inpatients at UNC REX Hospital in Raleigh (including patients in the Emergency Department), and all oncology outpatient areas. Similar visitor restrictions were already in place for the UNC REX Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU), with visits restricted to parents and grandparents only.
  • Also beginning Monday, Jan. 6, children less than 12 years old are prohibited from visiting inpatients and inpatient waiting rooms at UNC Hospitals (including the Chapel Hill, Hillsborough and Wakebrook campuses, but excluding inpatient hospice) and are prohibited from perioperative waiting rooms at UNC Medical Center and Hillsborough Hospital. These restrictions were previously in place for the Newborn Critical Care Center (NCCC), Pediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU), 5 Children’s/Intermediate Care (5CH) and Bone Marrow Transplant Unit (BMTU) at UNC Hospitals.

We understand that visitor restrictions at our hospitals present challenges for families and can be difficult for children who have a loved one receiving treatment and care. However, our priority is protecting vulnerable patients as the number of flu cases in the Triangle and statewide continues to increase.

We encourage children who wish to visit to write letters or emails instead. We also encourage parents and friends to help children stay connected while these visitor restrictions are in place through Skype or FaceTime.

No matter your age, if you have a fever, an active cough, a runny nose with nasal congestion or a sore throat, you should not visit the hospital unless you are coming to receive medical care.

For more information about flu symptoms, prevention and treatment, visit UNC Health Talk for flu tips, an explanation of the science behind the flu and other resources. UNC Urgent Care clinics are often a good alternative to hospital Emergency Departments for patients with flu symptoms. Learn more about UNC Urgent Care here.