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Visitors to Sanford Health's hospital in downtown Bismarck were asked in 2017 to take precautions to minimize exposure to the flu virus. Signs were posted at all hospital doors as a reminder of the risks of exposure.

Sanford Health in Bismarck has put in place visitor restrictions due to a "sustained increase" in respiratory illnesses and influenza, according to a news release from the hospital.

The restrictions aim to protect patients from becoming infected and spreading these illnesses. The restrictions went into place today.

Visits are limited to patients' immediate family members who are not showing signs of respiratory illnesses. This includes spouses, in-laws, parents, grandparents and siblings.

The restrictions in place at the downtown Bismarck hospital, 300 N. Seventh St., will be in place until further notice.

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(Reach Blair Emerson at 701-250-8251 or Blair.Emerson@bismarcktribune.com)

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