Lasting Influenza Restrictions

Over the last several weeks at Heart of America Medical Center in Rugby, influenza visitor restrictions have been in place to protect patients, residents and staff from contracting the influenza virus.

“We understand that with restrictions in place it can be difficult for our patients and residents. At times they can go without seeing friends or family for several weeks. However, their health is our number one priority and we cannot waiver on that.”

“The staff in the Care Center work diligently to prevent the spread of illnesses which is why, thankfully, none of our residents have had influenza. This is in large part thanks to our community for abiding by our restrictions. We appreciate the understanding and cooperation and ask that everyone be a courteous visitor, and don’t visit when you are ill, even when it isn’t flu season.” States Mary Haugen, Infection Control Nurse at HAMC. 

 “The Care Center staff would thank the community for their patience and diligence to uphold the visitor restrictions during this time.  We have residents in our Care Center who are more vulnerable to sickness and disease and it’s imperative that we keep them healthy. Each of the residents and staff members look forward to our visitors returning very soon.” Adds Carlie Johnson, Director of Nursing in the Care Center.

According to the North Dakota Department of Health’s website,; on March 14th, there have been 4,877 cases of influenza confirmed this season.  Symptoms include fever, cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, body aches, headache, chills, fatigue and sometimes diarrhea and vomiting. Most people with the flu have mild illness and may not need medical care or antiviral drugs. If flu symptoms arise, in most cases, one should stay home and avoid contact with other people except to get medical care.

If, however, one has symptoms of flu and are in a high risk group, or are very sick or worried about the illness, contact a health care provider for further treatment options.
Simple ways to avoid influenza and many other illnesses can include:

  • Receiving a flu shot.

  • Frequent and thorough hand washing.

  • Covering all coughs and sneezes. Those without a handkerchief or a tissue should use the crook of their arm, not their hand.

  • Staying home from work, school or social events if you have a fever, cough, sore throat, body aches and pains or other symptoms such as nausea or vomiting sometimes associated with influenza.

  • Avoiding people exhibiting symptoms of a flu-like illness.

If you have questions, or need to make an appointment with your care provider contact any one of the Heart of America Johnson Clinics in Rugby- 776.5235, in Maddock- 438.2555 and in Dunseith 244.5694.