Grand Rapids hospitals enacting visitor restrictions

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Amid flu season, health systems in the area are asking ill people to refrain from visiting hospitalized friends and family members until further notice.

The Kent County Health Department issued a statement today on behalf of Spectrum Health, Metro Health-University of Michigan Health and Mercy Health.

All visitors are expected to be healthy, and the hospitals are taking active steps to protect patients, staff and visitors, the county said.

The measures are designed to protect vulnerable patients, as well as staff members. The hospitals will continue to monitor the situation and stay in contact with clinical leaders at health systems across the state, the county said. One of the most important tools in fighting the transmission of infection is limiting exposure.

Michigan is among the hardest hit states for respiratory illnesses this season, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Respiratory illnesses can be especially dangerous to the young, frail or elderly.

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