As the number of deaths from the flu tops 150 in Washington, one hospital has decided to screen every visitor for flu-like symptoms.
Evergreen Health Medical Center in Kirkland is even taking the unusual precaution of turning some people away, something they haven't had to do for ten years since the H1N1 scare.
If a series of signs about the flu will greet every person walking into one of the four main entrances at the hospital. Then a nurse, stationed at the entrance, will ask the visitor if he or she has any symptoms, like a fever, a sore throat, a cough or body aches.
Those people who feel normal will get a sticker indicating they've been screened.
If someone has symptoms and is just visiting a patient at the hospital, the nurse will ask that person to delay his or her visit.
Most visitors who are under the age of 16, will also be turned away.
However, the staff wanted to make clear that its doors are open for anyone who is sick and seeking care or medical treatment. But the nurse will ask you to take precautions.
"We don't turn anyone away from their appointments," said Sandy Kreider, Director of Surgical Nursing, Infection Control, and Prevention. "We still want them to seek healthcare. Those people will still be screened and if they are ill, we'll ask them to 'mask up' and go straight to their appointments and not to go our common areas like our gift shops or our cafeterias for example."
Kreider said the hospital decided to take the precautions last week after a number of its healthcare providers fell ill.
The staff will be taking the flu screening measures until further notice.
To find more information or speak to a hospital representative, click here.