The increase in incidences of the H1N1 flu virus in the area has prompted several hospitals to take preventative steps to curb the spread of the flu viruses, including the implementation of visitor restrictions at some campuses.
Saint Joseph Regional Medical Center in Plymouth and Mishawaka are among those hospitals implementing restrictions, prohibiting any visitors under the age of 18 and allowing only healthy adults to visit. In addition, only two visitors per patient are allowed at a time.
The hospital is also asking that anyone with the flu or flu-like symptoms, such as fever, cough, runny nose, headache or body aches, in addition to anyone who has been exposed to someone who may have had the flu in the last five days, to stay home.
Neither IU Health Starke Hospital nor Pulaski Memorial Hospital have reported any restrictions on visitation in place at their facilities.
Because of how serious the flu can be, even for healthy people, Saint Joseph Regional Medical Center is offering the only free clinic in the Michiana community. The hospital’s Mishawaka campus will have 200 free flu shots available. The flu shots that will be administered will cover both the standard Influenza virus, as well as the H1N1 virus. The free flu clinic at Saint Joseph Regional Medical Center will take place on Thursday, Jan. 16 from 2 to 7 p.m. in the lobby area of the Mishawaka campus hospital.