Visitors are once again free to come and go from Alliston’s Stevenson Memorial Hospital as officials announced the risks associated with a viral outbreak are over.
Visitor restrictions were put in place at the hospital last Saturday after a number of patients and staff on the Medical Surgical Unit exhibited symptoms of nausea, vomiting and diarrhea. Special measures were put in place to limit further spread of the suspected gastroenteritis outbreak to patients and visitors were not allowed on the Medical Surgical Unit for a period of approximately 24 hours.
After controlling the outbreak and with no new admissions to the unit, family members were allowed to visit their loved ones on Sunday. Contact precautions were still in place and visitors and staff wore gloves, masks and gowns.
Today, (Fri., April 17) the outbreak status has been lifted and visiting hours have returned to normal.
The infection is still prevalent in the community and hospital officials remind the public that if they are ill they should not be visiting people in health-care facilities. People may unknowingly bring the infection into hospital when visiting sick relatives or friends.
"Our staff who always do a stellar job, worked quickly and constantly to contain this outbreak," said Gary Ryan, President and CEO of Stevenson Memorial Hospital. "Effective hand washing also helped to keep the illness from spreading," he added.
The hospital and Simcoe Muskoka Health Unit also remind the community that proper hand hygiene is one of the best ways to fight the spread of disease. People should always wash their hands with soap and warm water or alcohol based hand rub for at least 15 seconds. They should ensure their hands are clean before preparing or eating food, after using the washroom, and before or after any person-to-person contact.
Alcohol hand sanitizer is available throughout the hospital and visitors are reminded to clean their hands before visiting.