News & Events

Flu outbreak prompts visitor restrictions at Backus

December 13, 2012

Due to a high number of confirmed flu cases, the Backus Health System is enacting temporary visitor restrictions and limiting public use of its facilities beginning Friday, Dec. 14. This is being done to protect patients, visitors and staff.

The Backus lab reports 9 positive flu tests in the past week, and 14 overall. This is in addition to many Emergency Department patients who had flu-like symptoms but were not tested.

The restrictions – in effect for all Backus locations where there are patients and visitors –include no visitors under the age of 18 and asking people of all ages not to visit the hospital or its offsite locations if they have flu-like symptoms such as cough, sore throat or a fever.

“This is a very important precaution for us to take in order to keep our patients safe,” said Peter Shea, MD, Vice President and Chief Medical Officer. “Hospitalized patients are particularly vulnerable to the flu, and we must protect them at all costs.”

Dr. Shea added that most patients with flu-like symptoms do not need to visit the emergency department. He said for 90 % of the population, simply staying home and resting is the best thing to do unless you have underlying medical conditions or severe symptoms.

The public can still obtain flu shots at the Montville and Colchester Backus Health Centers. Backus and the Uncas Health District are partnering to offer free flu shots to the public. To schedule a vaccination, call 860-823-1189, ext. 123.

In addition to getting a flu shot, other ways to protect against the flu are:

  • Wash your hands frequently
  • Cover your cough
  • Stay home when you are sick.

For more information about the current flu season, view a Backus video

For updates on the flu season, visit and click on the red “public alert” button.