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Healthcare Systems in Hampton Roads Urge Respiratory Infection Prevention via Mask Usage

In response to soaring cases of respiratory infections, six major health systems from the Hampton Roads region in Virginia—the Bon Secour, Chesapeake Regional Healthcare, Sentara, The Children’s Hospital of The King’s Daughters, Eastern Virginia Medical School, and Riverside Health System—are earnestly urging patients and visitors to don masks inside their facilities at all times.

This collective recommendation comes as the Virginia Department of Health reports worrying infection figures for the ongoing flu season with over 16,000 recorded cases. Sentara’s Infection Prevention Manager, Caldwell Lewin, emphasized the importance of evaluating infection transmission trends over two-week periods. As he explained, as soon as two consecutive weeks show reduced transmission, hospital organizations may begin re-evaluating their premises.

Meanwhile, Norfolk’s Peoples Pharmacy’s Doctor Anna Peoples disclosed an influx of patients seeking treatment for flu-like symptoms. She advocated for mask-wearing in public spaces, particularly enclosed ones, as infection rates show no signs of slowing. Dr. Peoples further urged individuals exhibiting flu or COVID-like symptoms to conduct a COVID-19 test.

Concerning preventive measures, vaccination emerges as an equally viable alternative. According to Dr. Peoples, the flu strain has developed resistance, making it more contagious. Lewin pointed out that despite the gradual lifting of COVID-19 restrictions, mask-wearing recommendations from healthcare providers have persistently been in place. Hospitals are simply reinforcing this preventive approach to protect the public from the escalating respiratory infection crisis.


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