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The Winter Peak Season

Each year, beginning in late fall or early winter, CHEO sees an increase in the number of patients admitted to hospital with respiratory viruses. The risk of spreading these viruses, like influenza and RSV, to medically fragile children and youth who we care for at CHEO is a legitimate concern and one that we take steps to prevent. 

Beginning December 17, 2018 CHEO will be implementing Peak Season Precautions. It is anticipated that these precautions will be in place until April 8, 2019 to protect patients along with their families and our staff.

Temporary visitation restrictions 

CHEO’s enhanced, temporary visitor restrictions will include: 

  • All visitors must be at least 14 year old (children under the age of 14 may not visit)
  • Sick people should NOT visit or stay with hospitalized children (anyone with a runny nose, cough, fever, vomiting or diarrhea is asked not to visit)
  • Families should limit who accompanies patients to the Emergency Department and Ambulatory Care clinic appointments. No more than two people may accompany the patient. (Please note that an Emergency Department is no place for healthy children during viral season.) 
  • Admitted patients may NOT visit the Ronald MacDonald Family Lounge on the 5th floor 

Please note that these restrictions are in addition to those guided by CHEO’s routine policy and procedures around visitors. As a reminder, these include:

  • Only 2 visitors may visit at one time
  • Only parents/caregivers (2 max) may be at the bedside if the patient is in isolation
  • Only parents/caregivers (2 max) may accompany patients to either the Emergency Department or Ambulatory Care Clinics
  • Clean your hands frequently – especially when you arrive and leave the hospital and when entering or exiting the patient’s room 

Viral infections are spread by:

  • Direct contact with an infected person who may be coughing, sneezing or having a runny nose,
  • Indirect contact such as touching a surface (door handle, light switch) that has been contaminated by an infected person.
  • Cleaning your hands and keeping the environment clean is your best defense!

Here are some simple additional things you can do to prevent illness or injury and help you stay out of the hospital this holiday season:

  • Make sure that everyone in your family has enough of their medications - both prescription and non-prescription – before your family physician closes for the holidays
  • Check out inhalers, respirators, oxygen, and glucose testing machines
  • Sand or salt your driveway and walkways
  • Get the flu shot (it’s not too late!)

Every year we see people admitted to hospital – even to the ICU – suffering from influenza or its complications, like pneumonia. For most of these patients, their illness could have been avoided by getting the flu shot. 

Everyone has a role to play. Together, we can manage and minimize the spread of respiratory viruses across CHEO and keep our patients and everyone around them safe.  

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