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Another area of confusion concerns the terms mandatory and required as pertaining to kindergarten attendance. Even though it is not mandatory that parents enroll their children into kindergarten, once a child is enrolled in kindergarten, the child is required to adhere to all state statutes, including attendance guidelines.
Indianapolis - The flu outbreak is causing a major, temporary policy change for some of the largest hospitals in Indianapolis.
In fact, concern about H1N1 is so serious that places that care for the sick are placing restrictions on who can visit the sick.
Clarian Health announced the new policy Friday. It restricts non-essential patient visitors at its downtown hospitals, including Methodist, Indiana University, and Riley Hospital for Children.
The rule means only essential adult visitors: parents, spouses, domestic partners and spiritual counselors, will be allowed to visit patients.
Richard Wilson's wife is at Methodist for a heart attack. Doctors told his family Friday they had to go.
"I've been here for a week and we've been staying in the room. All of us have been able to visit. Today they came in the room and said one visitor per room due to the epidemic of the swine flu," Wilson said. "Now I'm taking them home."
Wilson's brother-in-law, Steve Jones, agreed with the hospital's change in policy.
"Because if they don't get a grasp on it here soon, it's going to get out of hand and it's just going to be impossible to get control over it," Jones said.
But the changes involve more than visitor restrictions. Clarian is also asking families to limit the number of people accompanying patients to the emergency room, waiting rooms, even their primary care doctor's offices.
Scott Lowder's family planned to visit his son in the emergency room, unaware of the new restrictions. Instead, he went alone.
But Lowder understands the risk and the reason for the rule.
"You know, an epidemic like that would fill up the hospitals rather quickly and then they wouldn't be able to take care of anybody," Lowder said.
Clarian says for now, this plan protects the public from potential exposure. Clarian plans to review the visitor policy on a daily basis, and as soon as it's deemed safe, the temporary restrictions will be lifted.
This temporary policy is effective immediately (Friday, May 1st, 2009).