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As confirmed flu cases have continued to rise, with especially large increases over the last two weeks, community healthcare partners are asking that the public observe new precautions to fight the flu.
Members of the community who have respiratory symptoms like cough, runny nose and fever and do not have additional complicating medical conditions or severe symptoms that require immediate medical care are asked to manage their illness at home. They can still receive care by calling their provider before visiting a health care facility, using telemedicine portals where available, or using online scheduling options to alert staff to flu-like symptoms.
Information on what to do if you have the flu, where virtual care options are available and what symptoms are severe enough for direct medical care are available at health.springfieldmo.gov/flu
Additionally, CoxHealth and Mercy are implementing new restrictions on sick visitors beginning Thursday, Feb. 6. Individuals with respiratory illness symptoms are asked not to visit patients in any hospital facility.
Anyone who has been exposed to someone who has symptoms of upper respiratory illness is also asked not to visit patients in the hospital. Keep in mind there may be a 48-hour incubation period when you would be contagious but not showing any symptoms.
People who have symptoms of upper respiratory illness and are entering a hospital or clinic facility are asked to use the cough stations, masks and hand sanitizer, if available at entrances.
As a reminder, Mercy currently restricts children 14 and under from visiting their baby units. CoxHealth currently restricts children from visiting the NICU at Cox South.