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Widespread flu prompts additional visitor restrictions at two M Health Fairview hospitals

For the safety of our patients, we ask that all children under the age of five and anyone experiencing cold- or flu-like symptoms refrain from visiting patients at two M Health Fairview hospitals.

The Minnesota Department of Health recently declared influenza to be widespread across the state.

To protect our most vulnerable patients and prevent the further spread of the illness, we have temporarily implemented enhanced visitor restrictions at two hospitals. The visitor restrictions began on Dec. 23, 2019, and will remain in place until flu season is over.

We ask that anyone meeting one or more of the following criteria to please refrain from visiting M Health Fairview University of Minnesota Medical Center (East and West Banks) and M Health Fairview University of Minnesota Masonic Children’s Hospital:

  • Anyone experiencing cold- or flu-like symptoms (enforced year-round).
  • Anyone who has been recently exposed to a communicable disease (enforced year-round).
  • Anyone under age five (enhanced restriction during flu season).

Except for the age requirement, the same restrictions are in effect throughout all other M Health Fairview hospitals.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Minnesota Department of Health, and the Minnesota Hospital Association recommend limiting children under five as an added precaution during the flu season. Influenza is spread through droplets in the air and on people’s hands. It is difficult for children under the age of five to adequately cover their cough and wash their hands appropriately.

Our hospital providers and staff may screen visitors who appear to be ill. If a visitor is displaying symptoms, our providers may offer respiratory masks or ask the visitor to postpone his or her visit.

Help us reduce the flu risk by:

  • Getting a flu vaccine; vaccination remains the best protection.
  • Practicing basic hand hygiene, including hand sanitizing and hand washing.
  • Sanitizing and disinfecting frequently touched surfaces on a regular basis.
  • Staying home if the following symptoms are present: fever (temperature greater than 100 degrees), chills, cough, sore throat, muscle aches, and fatigue.
Influenza symptoms come on quickly in the form of fever, dry cough, sore throat, headache, extreme tiredness, stuffed-up nose, and body aches. These symptoms can be severe.

Stay up-to-date on the flu by visiting the Minnesota Department of Health Influenza website