Grant County Health Officer Urges Community NOT To Visit Hearths - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

ALERT: Grant County Health Officer Urges Community NOT To Visit Hearthstone Inn

MOSES LAKE, Wash. - The Grant County Health District (GCHD) has been notified of an influenza-like illness (the flu) outbreak in the Moses Lake Hearthstone Inn assisted care/retirement facility. Flu can be a very severe illness in older adults. GCHD staff are working closely with Hearthstone personnel to control the outbreak. It is critical that the public follow the Health Officer's orders listed below:

1. Do NOT enter Hearthstone unless you absolutely must.

2. You will not be allowed to enter Hearthstone if you are sick.

3. It is recommended that ALL visitors wear a face mask.

Nearly 25% of the residents are sick with the flu or flu like illnesses and two residents are currently hospitalized and tested positive for the influenza A virus. There have been no deaths. Over the past few weeks cases of flu-like illnesses have been seen at local clinics and hospitals. In Washington, hospitalized cases, clinic visits for flu-like illness and lab confirmed case have increased.

"The Hearthstone staff and residents have been extremely cooperative, we must act quickly and take every measure possible to protect this community or control further spread," said Dr. Alexander Brzezny, Grant County Health Officer. He adds, "We understand that families want to visit with their families and friends at Hearthstone, but right now it's important to not expose the residents to any additional sicknesses or take flu home to your families."

The Health Officer and Health District staff have given Hearthstone a list of procedures to implement immediately to
control the spread of the flu to other residents and staff.

During flu season, it is important for everyone, shots or not, to do their part to avoid spreading flu by following these tips:

1. Do your best to stay healthy. Get plenty of rest, physical activity and healthy eating.

2. Stay home from school or work if you are sick. Avoid exposing yourself to others who are sick with flu-like illness.

3. Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue whenever you cough or sneeze, and then throw the tissue away. If you don't have a tissue, cough or sneeze into your sleeve.

4. Clean surfaces you touch frequently, such as doorknobs, water faucets, refrigerator handles and telephones.

5. Wash your hands often with soap and water or with an alcohol based, waterless hand sanitizer.

6. It is not too late to get your flu shot. Visit www.granthealth.org to find a flu shot near you.

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