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Widespread Flu Alters Fairview's Visitor Policies

Visitors are being screened for influenza-like symptoms and children under five are asked not to visit.

Fairview Southdale. Patch file photo.
Fairview Southdale. Patch file photo.
With more than 370 influenza-related hospitalizations in Minnesota this flu season, Fairview Health Services has changed its visitor policies to limit patient and employee exposure.

The temporary policy change took effect Thursday after Minnesota declared the flu to be "widespread" and will last through the end of the flu season.

Officials are asking that you not visit Fairview Southdale—or Fairview's seven other Minnesota hospitals—if you may have the flu or if you have had close conduct with someone who is sick.

Fairview hospitals are:

  • Screening visitors for influenza-like symptoms or exposure to others with such symptoms. 
  • Limiting visitors to 5 years and older.
  • Instructing patients and visitors on hand hygiene, limiting surfaces touched and use of Personal Protective Equipment. 

“Visitors play an important role in the comfort, care, healing and well-being of our patients,” says Steve Meisel, Fairview's director of patient safety, in a statement. “At the same time, our patients may be particularly vulnerable to contracting the flu and, if they do, it could set back their recovery. We believe these restrictions will safely balance both of these needs.” 

Exceptions to the limitations are being made on a case-by-case basis for compassionate reasons.

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