Special to the
Opelika Observer

The 2019-2020 influenza season is off to a strong start with Alabama and 15 other states reporting “widespread” cases of the flu. Locally, several schools and physician offices are also sharing that cases of influenza are high and expecting that trend to continue as families and friends gather for the holidays.
In an effort to curb the spread of the flu among its youngest patients, East Alabama Medical Center is implementing visitor restrictions on the third floor effective Dec. 10.
The restrictions mean that children age 11 and younger will not be permitted to visit on the third floor until further notice. The third floor includes EAMC’s Childbirth Unit, OB Observation, Mother/Baby Unit, Nursery, Level II Nursery and Pediatrics.
At this time, no other visitor restrictions are in place at EAMC or EAMC-Lanier, but that could change as the winter progresses. As always, visitors of any age who are sick with flu-like symptoms should refrain from visiting patients of any age.
Top-5 ways to prevent the spread of the flu:

  • Wash your hands frequently with soap and water or use alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
  • Cough or sneeze into a tissue or your sleeve.
  • Avoid touching your hands to your mouth, nose or eyes.
  • Do not eat or drink after anyone.
  • Stay home and isolated if you have the flu or flu-like symptoms.
    For more information, visit www.eamc.org. The hospital is located at 2000 Pepperell Parkway.
    About East
    Alabama Medical Center
    East Alabama Medical Center is a 340-bed regional referral hospital located in Opelika, and the organization also includes EAMC-Lanier hospital (88 beds) in Valley. Between the two hospitals and their collective service lines, there are 3,300 employees, making EAMC Lee County’s second largest employer. Among the services provided are open-heart surgery, comprehensive cancer treatment and complete orthopaedic care. EAMC also operates non-mainstream services, including RehabWorks, HealthPlus Fitness Center, the Diabetes and Nutrition Center, the Wound Treatment Center and the Auburn University Medical Clinic. EAMC-Lanier has a nursing home (103 beds), an inpatient acute rehabilitation unit (17 beds), a detox unit (10 beds) and offers occupational medicine.