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Local hospitals limit visitors due to flu risk

ELKHART, Ind. - Local hospitals and health facilities are implementing temporary visitor restrictions to help minimize the spread of respiratory infections.

The restrictions will begin Thursday, January 4 at Elkhart General Hospital, Goshen Hospital and Memorial Hospital of South Bend.

Patients are allowed no more than two adult visitors per patient. Children under the age of 18 are restricted from visiting the hospitals until further notice.

This year's flu season has hit Elkhart and St. Joseph Counties particularly hard, and both hospitals are reporting a higher volume of patients exhibiting flu-like symptoms compared to the same time last year.

In a statement, Beacon officials said, "We understand how the comfort of loved ones helps in the healing process, but we encourage patients and families to connect virtually via free wireless Internet using Skype, Facetime or other digital applications when you can’t be together in person."

Officials are encouraging everyone to protect themselves against the flu by getting vaccinated. In addition, here are some other ways to protect yourself against the flu:

  • Contain the illness by keeping sick people away from others. Stay home if you are sick, or wear a mask or cover your mouth with a scarf if you leave home.
  • Cover coughs and sneezes with a tissue or your elbow. Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer or soap and water after every cough or sneeze and periodically throughout the day.
  • Keep your environment clean. Sanitize frequently touched surfaces, such as doorknobs, light switches, remote controls and phones or tablets.
  • Follow a healthy lifestyle: maintain a good diet, get adequate rest, don’t smoke, and take care of any other medical problems you may have.

Saint Joseph Health System  has also placed visitation restrictions at St. Paul’s Life Plan Community, Holy Cross, Rehabilitation Institute at Elm Road and Mishawaka and Plymouth Medical Centers.

  • No one under 18 will be permitted to visit patients and residents
  • Only healthy adults will be permitted to visit
  • Only two visitors allowed at a time
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