Hospitals across Western New York are restricting who can visit patients

Based on an increase in influenza in the region, UR Medicine Thompson Health has instituted visitor restrictions at both F.F. Thompson Hospital and the M.M. Ewing Continuing Care Center, effective immediately.

In Ontario County the number of flu cases reported to the Health department has grown.

"This is usually when we start seeing the numbers going up after the holidays and the kids are back in school," said Ontario County Public Health Director Mary Beer. "It’s too soon to say whether this year’s flu season will be as ‘bad' as last year. One thing you can always say about the flu season is that it is unpredictable; that is why we are still encouraging folks to get the flu shot.”

Beer stated that last year’s flu hit earlier in the season, but it changes from season to season.

Over the last three weeks the number of weekly reported cases to the Ontario County Public Health Department has grown — from 19 to 32 to 38, a total of 89.

As of Monday, Wayne County has had 90 cases of flu; Livingston County, 73.

If you’re headed to Thompson or the care cancer, be aware of the new visitor guidelines:

— Each patient or resident is limited to three visitors at a time.

— Visitors under 14 are not permitted. Exceptions may be made at the discretion of the Infection Prevention Department.

— Anyone displaying symptoms of possible illness is asked to refrain from visiting until they have been symptom-free for at least 24 hours.

Signage regarding this temporary policy is posted at the entrances to both the hospital and the continuing care center, and staff members have been made aware.

Visitor restrictions are determined by each institution based on the prevalence of influenza in the facility and region. Other regional facilities may or may not have restrictions in place at the same time as Thompson Health. In Monroe and Livingston counties, similar restrictions are in place at Strong Memorial Hospital, Highland Hospital, Golisano Children's Hospital, Wilmot Cancer Center and Noyes Memorial Hospital, all part of UR Medicine; and at Rochester General Hospital and Unity Hospital, part of Rochester Regional Health.

Close monitoring of influenza activity will continue, and Thompson will return to regular visiting practices as soon as it is deemed safe to do so.

Includes reporting from news partner, News 10NBC