Several North Carolina health systems ask that children 12 and under not visit patients who are hospitalized due to the widespread prevalence of respiratory viruses among young children.

These restrictions went into effect Nov. 16 and apply to hospitals in North Carolina that are part of Atrium Health, Atrium Health Wake Forest Baptist, CaroMont Health, Cone Health, Novant Health and Randolph Health.

Masks are still required for visitors. People 13 years and over who are experiencing flu-like symptoms, such as runny nose, sore throat, fever or cough, should not visit patients being treated at area hospitals. However, people who are seeking treatment at hospitals are not subject to the restriction. 

Children may be permitted to visit hospitalized patients under special circumstances, such as visiting a dying family member. In these instances, parents should work with their care team to make arrangements.  

Area health systems also remind the community to continue taking measures that are known to limit the spread of respiratory viruses. Health officials strongly encourage people to stay home when sick, maintain good respiratory etiquette such as hand washing and covering the nose and mouth when sneezing or coughing, and most importantly, get vaccinated against flu and COVID-19 – including the latest COVID-19 fall boosters – to best protect against illness heading into the holiday season.

Patients are asked to only visit the emergency department if they are experiencing a serious or life-threatening illness or injury. Those who need medical attention for more routine cough, fever, fatigue and other flu-like symptoms should contact their primary care provider. Other options include urgent care centers and virtual visits that are offered by each of the health systems.

It is important to note that some hospitals and health systems may have additional restrictions on visitors in certain areas. For example, Atrium Health Wake Forest Baptist Brenner Children’s Hospital does not permit visitors under the age of 18, except in special situations.

For current visitor restrictions at each health system, please visit the following:

• Atrium Health:

• Atrium Health Wake Forest Baptist:

• CaroMont Health:

• Cone Health:

• Novant Health:

• Randolph Health:

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