Sky Lakes Medical Center today announced the temporary safety measures put in place in January to help prevent the spread of flu have been lifted.

Under the temporary measures, individuals 18 and younger were restricted from visiting patients in the Emergency Department or in the inpatient care areas of the medical center without specific permission.

“The number of patients admitted with flu-like illness, the number of flu tests done, and the number of positive tests are all significantly down from the peaks earlier this year, so the restrictions are no longer necessary,” said Sky Lakes Chief Nursing Officer Annette Cole, RN. “That means the visitation rules return to normal.”

Even though the “flu season” is essentially over, it is still important to remember to use proper hand hygiene and “cough etiquette,” she added.

Proper hand hygiene means washing your hands with warm water and soap or using an alcohol-based hand cleaner. “Cough etiquette” includes covering your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze and place the used tissue in a wastebasket, or cough or sneeze into your upper sleeve, not your hands, she explained.