Franciscan hospitals ease strict visitor rules as flu cases decline

2013-02-18T18:15:00Z 2013-02-18T21:36:03Z Franciscan hospitals ease strict visitor rules as flu cases declineTimes Staff nwitimes.com
February 18, 2013 6:15 pm  • 

Heightened visitor restrictions that four local hospitals imposed in mid-January have been discontinued because of a drop in flu cases.

During the peak of the local flu season, Franciscan St. Anthony Health hospital in Crown Point, Franciscan St. Margaret Health hospitals in Dyer and Hammond and Franciscan Physicians Hospital in Munster enacted certain restrictions to prevent the spread of the flu, hospital officials said.

People with flu-like symptoms, such as a runny nose, cough or a fever of more than 100 degrees, were asked to not come to the hospitals to visit patients.

Visitors younger than 18 were not allowed, and no more than two people at a time were allowed to visit a patient.

“We’ve witnessed a significant decrease in the number of influenza cases in the past few weeks and, after consulting with our infectious disease department and our physicians, it was decided that we could safely lift the visitor restrictions imposed in January," said Joe Dejanovic, Franciscan Alliance regional vice president of marketing and communications. "Franciscan Alliance is taking this action to promote patient comfort, but will remain vigilant for signs that precautions should be reinstated."

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