Some holiday events have been canceled at the Northern Montana Care Center, and the administration is requiring visitors to take extra steps to prevent spreading norovirus to its residents.
Care Center Administrator Ron Gleason said this morning that Northern Montana Hospital has confirmed some cases of norovirus, and church services and an Easter egg hunt have been canceled. Visitors are required to wear surgical masks, available at the nurses’ stations at the care center, and to go straight to the room of the resident they are visiting, he said.
“We definitely don’t want that spreading through the care center,” Gleason said.
Norovirus is a highly contagious virus causing acute gastroenteritus, or stomach flu, with stomach pain, nausea, diahrea and vomiting. The disease can be serious especially for young children and older people, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports.
The best way for people to protect themselves from norovirus is to regularly wash their hands and to practice general cleanliness, CDC says on its website.
Gleason said the visitor restrictions are likely to be in place at least through the weekend.
He said the restrictions led to the cancellation of the Easter egg hunt planned, in which children of staff members had been invited to look for eggs died by care center residents.