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Sanford lifts visitor restrictions

BEMIDJI – The hospital here has lifted visitor restrictions one month after putting them in place to prevent the spread of flu to its patients.

Sanford Bemidji Medical Center lifted visitor restrictions Friday based on the recent decline in the number of flu-like illnesses among area patients, according to a Sanford press release.

Sanford announced Jan. 14 it would limit visitors to immediate family members only and restrict visitors to two per patient at a time. No one who was ill with symptoms of influenza was permitted to visit.

Those limits were lifted Friday, though the hospital still asks that anyone planning to visit patients refrain from doing so if they feel ill with any type of upper respiratory problem.

Sanford advises the following to protect the community from the spread of influenza:

- Cover all coughs and sneezes. If you don’t have a handkerchief or a tissue, use the crook of your arm, not your hand.

- Stay home from work, school or social events if you have a fever, cough, sore throat, body aches and pains, or other symptoms like nausea or vomiting sometimes associated with influenza.

- Avoid people exhibiting symptoms of a flu-like illness.

Anyone with severe and persistent flu-like symptoms are advised to contact their health care provider.