12/17/2014 08:52 EST | Updated 02/16/2015 05:59 EST

Quebec City hospitals ban visitors

Five hospitals in Quebec City will ban visitors from seeing any patients as of 8 a.m. on Thursday.

Visitors will not be allowed at the city’s university health centres, which include L’Hôtel-Dieu de Québec, the Centre hospitalier de l'Université Laval (CHUL), Hôpital Saint-François d’Assise, Hôpital du Saint-Sacrement and Hôpital de l’Enfant-Jésus.

“This ban [is] necessary because of the high activity of influenza, and crowding in our emergency rooms,” said a statement released late Wednesday evening.

“This ban is necessary to minimize the risk of transmission of influenza viruses with the hospitalized patients.”

The hospital will allow visitors in the pediatric ward if the visitor is the patient's parent. In palliative care, only visits by relatives who are the primary caregivers will be permitted.

Anyone visiting a patient in intensive care will also be allowed in — only if that patient’s condition is not stable.

Officials say they will evaluate the situation daily to determine when the ban can be lifted.