Corewell limiting pediatric unit visitors at 3 metro Detroit hospitals due to rise in respiratory illnesses

Visitors will be limited to two per day and one overnight
Posted at 9:39 AM, Dec 13, 2023
and last updated 2023-12-13 23:29:58-05

(WXYZ) — Corewell Health announced that it is now limiting the number of visitors at pediatric units for three of its hospitals in Southeast Michigan due to an increase in respiratory illnesses.

The health system says only two visitors will be allowed at the bedside during the day and one overnight at pediatric units at Corewell Health’s Beaumont Hospitals in Dearborn, Royal Oak and Troy.

The restrictions are for patients under 21 in the pediatric inpatient units and emergency centers.

Corewell Health says while there may be a longer wait time at their hospitals due to the uptick, they are still in good shape to admit any child that needs to be seen. They're seeing hospitalizations due to illnesses like respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), COVID-19 and influenza, but say it's not any more than pre-pandemic levels.

“This feels very much like a typical year that we are well prepared to handle," Division Chief of Pediatric Medicine at Corewell Beaumont Royal Oak Dr. Evelyn Laskowski said.

Raechel Attanasio is a mother of four in Madison Heights. Recently, her entire family was hit with a nasty upper respiratory infection, including all her children.

"It started with my youngest," she said. "Then it just kind of moved around the whole family, and so we were all sick at the same time.”

Attanasio says they visited an urgent care and received antibiotics and never had to go to a hospital, but the family was sick for two full weeks.

“Coughing, coughing hard," she said about their symptoms. "Everybody’s staying home. It just gets kind of hectic."

Dr. Molly O'Shea is a pediatrician at a private practice in Oakland and Macomb counties. She says she’s seeing the uptick in respiratory illnesses as well.

"We have a big uptick right around the holidays of a variety of viruses," O'Shea said. "We're still seeing a lot of RSV. But we are also seeing influenza A... a couple of cases of influenza B and COVID as well. So we're seeing it all."

Corewell recommends the following actions to help prevent the spread of illness:

  • Stay home if you are sick.
  • Wash your hands frequently.
  • Get vaccinated against influenza and COVID-19.