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INDIANAPOLIS–Hospitals in Marion County have begun temporary restrictions for visitors because of the increase in flu infections.

“Flu is hitting Marion County hard right now and much earlier than it has in recent years,” said Marion County Health Director Dr. Virginia Caine. “Along with recommending the flu vaccine and encouraging frequent handwashing, these restrictions are part of a multi-faceted effort to help protect the most vulnerable patients in our community from the flu virus, which can cause significant illness and, in certain cases, lead to extended hospitalization or death.”

As part of a policy developed by the Indianapolis Coalition for Patient Safety, hospitals of all health systems in Marion County have agreed to implement Tier 1 of the coalition’s Patient Visitor Policy beginning Monday, Dec. 5.

The Tier 1 option of temporary visitor restrictions at hospitals includes:

-No visitors with symptoms of influenza.

-No visitors under the age of 18.

-Visitors limited to two immediate family members as identified by the patient.

Visitors are also required to wear masks.

Marion County hospitals participating in the temporary visitor restrictions include hospitals within Community Health Network, Franciscan Health Indianapolis, Ascension St. Vincent, Indiana University Health, and Eskenazi Health.

Caine says during the week of Nov. 20-26, the rate of influenza-like illness (ILI) reported in patients at Marion County emergency departments was the highest in 10 years. ILI is defined as a temperature of 100°F or greater with a cough and/or sore throat. The ILI rate was highest among the 5-17 age group.

For locations and hours of the district health offices and ACTION Health Center, call the Marion County Public Health Department’s immunization program at 317-221-2122 or visit

WIBC 93.1 FM — Indy's Mobile News

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