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Oct 5, 2009 7:10 PM by Andy Koen

No kids allowed: hospitals impose visitor restrictions

Hospitals in Colorado Springs and Pueblo are restricting children, pregnant women and people with weakened immune systems from visiting patients as a precaution against the spread H1N1 flu.

At the Penrose-St. Francis Health System hosptials and the Memorial Health System hospitals, children under age 12, pregnant women and people with lowered immune systems are asked not to visit patients at the hospital. 

Additionally, the hospitals are requesting that a maximum of 4 people visit a patient's room at one time.

St. Mary Corwin Hosptial in Pueblo plan is asking children and teens age 17 and under not to visit.

Parkview Hospital spokesperson Michelle Puelen said they are considering similar restrictions, but they have not been put in place yet.  A decision will be made in the next 2-3 weeks.

Stacey Knott, spokesperson for Penrose-St. Francis, says the move is designed to limit the spread of the H1N1 virus within the hospitals and to protect children who are at a greater risk for infection while at the hospital.

"They're one of the most vulnerable groups that we have and when they come into our facilities if there's somebody else that's sick they could pick up something," Knott said.

Knott stressed that the restriction only extends to hospital visitors and that anyone in need of medical attention, regardless of age, should not hesitate to check in.

Doses of the H1N1 flu vaccine are expected to arrive in Colorado in the coming weeks. 

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