Star Tribune, January 10, 2014
Fairview Health Services is restricting visitors to its six Minnesota hospitals to reduce the spread of influenza, a sign that the virus has become more widespread as the state's 2013-14 flu season takes hold. While exceptions will be considered for compassionate reasons, the health system is temporarily banning visitors younger than 5 and screening other visitors for influenza-like symptoms or for contact with people who have been sick. "Visitors play an important role in the comfort, care, healing and well-being of our patients," said Steve Meisel, director of patient safety for Fairview, which operates the University of Minnesota Medical Center and other hospitals in Burnsville, Edina, Princeton, Wyoming and Hibbing. "At the same time, our patients may be particularly vulnerable to contracting the flu and, if they do, it could set back their recovery."