GASTONIA, N.C. -- Beginning Saturday, CaroMont Regional Medical Center will restrict visitors under the age of 13 because of the flu outbreak.

Health officials also asked guests who have compromised immune systems or flu-like symptoms to not come to the hospital or The Birthplace.

“The number of influenza and influenza-like illness cases presenting to CaroMont Regional’s Emergency Department has continued to climb in recent days. Putting visitor restrictions in place is a necessary step to ensure we protect our patients, staff and visitors, as well as reduce the risk of exposing vulnerable populations,” said Todd Davis, MD, Chief Medical Officer at CaroMont Health.

Officials said the visitor restriction plan will remain in place until the incidence of flu and flu-like illness subsides.