Fairview health system tightens visiting policy during widespread flu in Minn.

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University of Minnesota Medical Center Fairview
The University of Minnesota Medical Center, Fairview
Photo Courtesy of Fairview Health Services

Fairview Health Services won't allow people with flu-like symptoms and children younger than 5 years old to visit patients in its hospitals, beginning Tuesday.

Steve Meisel, the health system's director of patient safety, says the temporary policy is in place because of widespread instances of flu in Minnesota.

Related: Minnesota reports big increase in flu cases

"We're asking people when they do visit to practice good hand hygiene [and] and not to touch surfaces, because certainly the flu can be spread that way," Meisel said. "People who are in the hospital are sick, and if they were to come down with the flu on top of their underlying illness, that could really set back their recovery."

Related: Despite flu vaccine confusion, experts say it still helps

Fairview will make case-by-case exceptions to the flu policy for what it calls "compassionate" reasons.

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