With flu cases hitting an epidemic level, according to the CDC, area hospitals are on guard. They are trying to keep everyone as healthy as possible, including patients and visitors.
Visitors to Ministry Health Care in Weston are greeted by a "cough kiosk" which consists of hand-sanitizer, paper masks to prevent infection, and facial tissue.
Riverview Medical Center in Wisconsin Rapids has initiated a visiting restriction. It limits visitors to healthy family members only. This comes on the recommendation of the Wisconsin Department of Health.
"We want to keep the patient population healthy and we want to keep the community healthy," says Stacey Firkus, Infection Control Coordinator at Riverview Medical Center. "If you're ill, you really should be staying home. We don't want you coming to work and infecting other people."
They encourage visitors to take advantage of hand cleaning stations located throughout the hospital.
She says the outcome of the restriction is to improve the well-being of the community.
The Wisconsin Department of Health Services says that as of January 10th, there have been 1,360 flu associated hospitalizations state-wide. As of January 4th, there are a total of 2,837 influenza cases in the state.