Flu season brings temporary visitor restriction policy

Illustration of Flu Alert sign

The flu season has arrived in Chicago and for the safety of patients, families, and staff, the University of Chicago Medicine is making temporary changes to its visitor policy.

The restrictions began at 7:00 a.m. on Dec. 27, 2017.

"We are making these restrictions because visitors, especially children, may not show typical flu symptoms," said Allison H. Bartlett, MD, the quality chief in the department of pediatrics. "They may not know they have the flu and could easily pass the virus onto others. We know this may be hard on all of us, but patients can get very sick from visitors, even those who just have mild flu symptoms. These changes will help keep everyone safe."

The restrictions include:

  • Children under 12 and any visitors with symptoms such as a fever, cough, sore throat, runny nose, or nasal congestion are not allowed to visit patients in the hospital.
  • Children under the age of 12 must stay in the 1st floor main lobby and must be with an adult at all times.
  • Children under the age of 12 are not allowed in any of the following areas:
    • Inpatient hospital units (any area where we treat patients who must stay in the hospital)
    • Surgery waiting areas
    • Radiology areas
    • Infusion suites
    • The playroom is closed to siblings.
  • Children should not be brought to clinic visits unless the child has a doctor’s appointment.
  • Patients and visitors going to the clinic with any of these symptoms must wear a face mask.

The flu season typically runs from December through early spring. UChicago Medicine's restrictions will remain in effect until the flu risk has passed.