Some hospitals in Illinois are restricting visitors because of a spike in flu cases.
FHN Memorial Hospital in Freeport reported 91 positive cases of flu this week, compared with three during the same time last year. Based on recommendations from the Illinois Department of Public Health, it, like hospitals in similar situations, is limiting who can visit patients. Nurse Margie Kochsmeir is the infection preventionist at FHN Memorial. She said measures also include removing potential gathering places for germs, such as magazines in the waiting room.
“People have to go to the doctor, and if they’re looking at that magazine, they can leave those germs behind, and the next person who comes in can pick them up,” she said.
Currently, nobody under the age of 18 can visit patients at FHN, and cough etiquette is strictly enforced. Flu patients are also encouraged not to have visitors unless absolutely necessary for care or their emotional well-being.