CHARLOTTE, N.C. – Several healthcare systems across the state announced Thursday they will restrict their visitor access in an attempt to cease the spread of the flu.
The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services reports 26 people have died in North Carolina from the flu since October.
The healthcare systems taking proactive measures include Novant Health, Carolinas HealthCare System, Cone Health, and Wake Forest Baptist Health.
The healthcare systems are making a unified stance in asking that visitors ages 12 and under do not come to the hospital due to the widespread outbreak of the flu virus.
"This restriction is effective on Friday, January 12 at 12 a.m. until further notice," hospital representatives for Novant Health said Thursday in a press release.
Individuals ages 13 or over who have a runny nose, sore throat, fever or cough are also encouraged to not visit patients being treated at Novant Health facilities.
"The flu virus can be extremely dangerous to people who have compromised immune systems, cancer, kidney disease and other chronic conditions," advised Dr. David Priest, the medical director for infection prevention at Novant Health.
The hospital did note that children will be allowed access to hospital in special circumstances, such as a dying family member.
The restrictions apply to the following hospitals:
• Novant Health Brunswick Medical Center
• Novant Health Charlotte Orthopedic Hospital
• Novant Health Clemmons Medical Center
• Novant Health Forsyth Medical Center
• Novant Health Hemby Children’s Hospital
• Novant Health Huntersville Medical Center
• Novant Health Kernersville Medical Center
• Novant Health Matthews Medical Center
• Novant Health Medical Park Hospital
• Novant Health Presbyterian Medical Center
• Novant Health Rowan Medical Center
• Novant Health Thomasville Medical Center
• Novant Health UVA Health System Prince William Medical Center
• Novant Health UVA Health System Haymarket Medical Center
• Carolinas Medical Center
• Levine Children’s Hospital
• Carolinas Medical Center- Mercy
• Carolinas HealthCare System NorthEast
• Carolinas HealthCare System Pineville
• Carolinas HealthCare System Union
• Carolinas HealthCare System University
• Carolinas HealthCare System Lincoln
• Carolinas HealthCare System Cleveland
• Carolinas HealthCare System Kings Mountain
• Carolinas HealthCare System Blue Ridge
• Carolinas HealthCare System Stanly
• Carolinas HealthCare System Anson
• Carolinas HealthCare System Behavioral Health-Charlotte
• Carolinas HealthCare System Behavioral Health-Davidson
• Carolinas Rehabilitation-Charlotte
• Carolinas Rehabilitation-NorthEast
• Carolinas Rehabilitation-Mt. Holly
• Pineville Inpatient Rehabilitation
• UNC Health Care -- all facilities