Sunday, March 9 2014 10:03 AM EDT2014-03-09 14:03:24 GMT
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NEW ALBANY, Ind. (WDRB) -- The flu has killed 27 people in Indiana alone and it continues to spread. One local retirement home is taking steps to protect those most at risk.
The people who have died are older, and that's why the Providence Retirement Home in New Albany is doing everything possible to keep the flu from spreading.
Infection Control Nurse JoAnna Frascella explains, "They see the sign when they come in and obviously it says, you know, if you can refrain from visiting, however if they still want to enter we ask that they hand-sanitize and we also have masks to protect themselves as well as our residents."
It's like an invisible barrier at the front doors of New Albany's Mercy Providence Retirement Home. Everyone who enters knows no germs are allowed and if one sneaks through those doors, Nurse Frascella says they're ready for it: "Our staff does a phenomenal job with keeping up with good hygiene, as well as far as with handwashing. If they're feeling sick not to come to work."
Residents know what to look for and how to prevent the flu from spreading. Frascella says, "If they feel like they're feeling sick and they feel like they might have the flu, they refrain from going in a public area like the dining room, going to an activity, anything like that."
So far Providence has not had a problem with the flu. Frascella says that's probably because of early precautions in giving the vaccinations in September. "We want to always keep our residents safe and our employees, and in doing so to keep our employees safe and our residents. We have required the flu vaccination to our employees and we do recommend it highly to our residents as well."
Local hospitals are also asking people to use hand sanitizer before and after visits. Flu season usually lasts from October to May.