ThedaCare temporarily restricting children to visit patients in seven of their hospitals

Influenza season is now underway in Wisconsin. In an effort to prevent the spread of the flu and to protect the health of patients, families, team members and the communities we serve, ThedaCare leaders are announcing visitor restrictions.

Children under the age of 12 will temporarily not be permitted to visit patients in all seven ThedaCare hospitals. This does not apply to outpatient or clinic services. One exception to the restriction is siblings, who do not have cold or flu symptoms, may visit the OB unit.

“The flu is a serious, contagious respiratory illness that we are currently seeing across the United States,” said Dr. Jennifer Frank, Chief Medical Officer of the Clinically Integrated Network at ThedaCare. “The safety of patients, families and team members is our main priority at ThedaCare, which is why restrictions are now in place.”

ThedaCare is imple-menting the temporary restriction at hospitals in Appleton, Berlin, Neenah, New London, Shawano, Waupaca and Wild Rose. It will be assessed on a regular basis as new information about the influenza season becomes available.

According to the Wisconsin Department of Health and Human Services, during the 2018-2019 flu season, there were 17,210 cases of the flu in Wisconsin. People of all ages can get the flu. ThedaCare continues to encourage the community to protect hospitalized patients from exposure by not visiting unless necessary. People should not visit if they have a cough, fever, diarrhea or vomiting. Visitors are highly encouraged to wear masks and frequently wash or sanitize hands while at the hospital.

“The best way to prevent the flu is to get the flu vaccine,” said Dr. Frank. “Anyone over the age of six months should receive the vaccination. The flu can be a severe illness, especially for the very young, the very old, those with chronic health conditions and pregnant women. That’s because those groups run the highest risk of developing a complication from the illness.”

Getting vaccinated and washing your hands are easy ways to fight the illness. Other simple tips to staying healthy include getting enough rest, eating right and covering your cough.

Patients who are not feeling well, but want to be seen by a healthcare provider have the option of an eVisit. They log on to their MyThedaCare secure web portal and answer several questions specific to their ailment. Within two hours of filling out the online questionnaire, a patient will receive a response from his or her physician, including a plan of care and a prescription, if needed.

eVisits are available from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m., seven days a week. To use ThedaCare eVisits, a patient must have an established relationship with a ThedaCare provider and a MyThedaCare.org online patient account. The patient portal can be easily established online at MyThedaCare.org. The cost of an eVisit is $35 and insurance is not billed. If your doctor requests to see you in person, the $35 is refunded and normal office visit rates apply.

ThedaCare FastCare Clinics also an option for patients

FastCare clinics are located inside Meijer in Grand Chute and in Darboy at ThedaCare Physicians-Darboy. FastCare is an affordable option for non-emergency care, giving families the opportunity to see a ThedaCare provider in person for non-emergency care. They provide care for common and relatively simple conditions, such as limited immunizations, flu vaccinations, screenings, and some labs, such as pregnancy tests, rapid strep, monospots and urinalysis (for females 12 and older only).

FastCare clinics accept most insurance. Office visit co-pays and normal office visit charges apply. FastCare cannot conduct diagnostic tests such as x-rays, ultrasounds or more intensive lab work. All patients must be 18 months or older.