Another sign the worst of the flu season is behind us statewide and locally: more freedom for visitors at area hospitals.
"We've anticipated we're through the worst of it and we've decided, along with several other hospitals, to relax our restrictions at this time," says Maggie Dake, RN with New Ulm Medical Center Clinic.
As of Monday visitors are no longer limited to only immediate family and only two visitors at a time. Similar restrictions were put in place in 2009 for the H1N1 epidemic.
Health care providers still urge people to stay home if they are sick, wash their hands frequently and cover their coughs. Recently health officials have said the worst of the flu season is likely over in Minnesota.
As of last week, in Minnesota the number of flu–related hospitalizations and outbreaks dropped for the third week in a row: 135 hospitalizations from 628 three weeks ago.
At last count, there have been 112 flu–related deaths in the state.