Blanchard Valley Hospital Taking Flu Precautions

Blanchard Valley Hospital is taking precautions as health officials say the flu is hitting Ohio harder and earlier than last year.

Two days before Christmas the hospital started requiring visitors and employees who haven’t had a flu shot to wear a flu mask.

Other hospitals in the state are restricting visitors because of flu concerns.

The Ohio Department of Health says hospitalizations for the flu in Ohio are up 53 percent compared to this time last year.

The department said 404 people had been hospitalized by mid-December, compared to 264 last year.

The CDC lists Ohio and 30 other states as having widespread flu activity, which is the highest designation.