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Franciscan Health closes waiting rooms at Indy-area hospitals

A sign on the side of a Franciscan Health facility in Indianapolis in October 2022. Franciscan Health is offering multiple drive-through flu shot clinics in central Indiana. (WISH Photo)

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Franciscan Health announced updated visitor restrictions on Wednesday as the hospital network continues to deal with a surge in cases of the flu, COVID-19, and RSV.

Waiting rooms at Franciscan hospitals in Indianapolis, Carmel, and Mooresville are temporarily closed.

“Visitors should take this into consideration and plan accordingly,” Franciscan said.

The decision comes just a week after all Indianapolis-area hospitals agreed to implement new visitor restrictions to try and combat the spread of flu, COVID-19, and RSV.

Community Health Network implemented a similar mask requirement on Monday.

Indiana’s flu activity is “very high,” with more than 5,000 Hoosiers visiting hospital emergency rooms with flu-like illnesses so far this week, according to the state’s influenza dashboard.

It’s still early in the flu season, but Indiana has already recorded 24 flu deaths so far — including 13 people last week.

Most of Indiana’s flu deaths have been in adults over the age of 65, but the state’s first pediatric flu death was announced on Monday.

The state’s next flu report is due Friday.

Dr. Jerome Adams, a former U.S. surgeon general and the WISH-TV medical expert, talked with News 8’s Drew Blair on Tuesday afternoon about what parents need to know as flu season ramps up.

Visit the CDC website to learn more about the flu and how to prevent it.

Need to schedule a flu or COVID-19 vaccine? Check out

(Provided Photo/Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)

This story has been updated to correct reports that Franciscan introduced a mask mandate on Wednesday. The mask mandate had been in place since Dec. 5, 2022.