NewsHealth / March 19, 2018

Marion County Hospitals Lifting Visitor Restrictions

Marion County Hospitals Lifting Visitor RestrictionsThe Marion County Health Department requested the temporary visitor restrictions in January when flu activity began to peak.Marion County Health Department, influenza, flu season2018-03-19T00:00:00-04:00
Marion County Hospitals Lifting Visitor Restrictions

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Marion County hospitals will resume their regular visitation policies on Monday.

As flu activity declines they are ending temporary visitor restrictions that began Jan. 8 at the request of Marion County Public Health Department Director Virginia A. Caine, M.D.

The health department says the number of patients visiting emergency departments in Marion County with a chief complaint of influenza-like illnesses has dropped steadily since a peak of flu activity hit in January and February.

IU Health Infectious Disease Specialist Dr. Cole Beeler says the precautions were successful, but the flu season is still a priority for health officials.

“Just because we’ve come off of visitor restrictions, doesn’t mean that we’re not taking it seriously,” Beeler says. “We’re still watching our influenza cases at our hospitals extremely closely.”

Dr. Beeler says the public should also take every step to protect themselves from the flu, including avoiding sick people, and their washing hands.

“My personal recommendation would be to still get the flu shot if you haven’t gotten the flu shot,” he says.

This flu season, Marion County hospitals reported the highest levels of influenza-like illness in three years. And the Indiana State Department of Health says 278 Hoosiers have died due to influenza-associated illness so far this season.

Patrick McGerr of WFIU contributed to this story.

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