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The hosptial had an open pet visitation policy, but starting October first, only service dogs and pet therapy animals will be allowed in.

 

St. Charles Vice President of Quality, Pam Steinke says people were abusing the privilege and it was getting to be a hazard.

 

"You know we are onl of the few hospitals with an open pet visitation policy. Because the CDC looks at pets as being disease carriers, infection carriers. And we've had some santitation issues, issues where there was pet feces in the hallway or a patient's room or elevator.  Caregivers are supposed to be taking care of patients, not picking up after people's pets."

 

The hospital feels the risk of infection poses too big a health risk for its patients.

 

Also many patients and visitors also suffer from allergies to animal dander.

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