WOODBRIDGE, VA (March 17, 2014) –
Flu cases have declined significantly over the last three weeks according to reports by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Virginia Department of Health. With flu now at regional levels, Sentara Healthcare has lifted its recommendation for visitors to don masks upon entering area medical facilities effective Friday, March 14, 2014 following the latest Virginia Department of Health influenza update.
Since Tuesday, January 7, 2014, the recommendation has been in place at Sentara Northern Virginia Medical Center in Woodbridge, Sentara Lake Ridge, Sentara Lorton Marketplace, and affiliated primary care physician practices to protect patients, visitors and medical staff from the spread of flu.
Now that seasonal influenza cases in Virginia have dropped to regional levels, the risk of spread of flu is not as great.
Area providers believe the community support of this masking practice has helped limit the spread of flu, since vaccines are not 100% effective and the infected persons can transmit the virus as much as 24 hours before displaying symptoms, thereby protecting the area’s most vulnerable.