C.O. prepares for what could be bad flu season

Area reitirement homes ready with sanitizer

POSTED: 12:39 PM PST January 30, 2013    UPDATED: 11:13 PM PST January 9, 2013 
BEND, Ore. -

With the flu season across much of the country in full swing, the High Desert is bracing for what could be a bad year.

St. Charles in Bend said in an email that they've seen an increase in the number of positive tests in it's labs. In November, they reported 6 tests that came back positive; in December that number jumped to 48.

The hospital is urging anyone who hasn't gotten a flu shot to do so.

Many retirement homes across the area prepare for the flu virus year round.

"We've had a couple of people with some stomach symptoms, not much so far," Jodi Babbit, assisted living director at Fox Hollow Assisted Living in Bend, said Wednesday.

Lisa Greer, general manager at Fox Hollow, says since an outbreak of the flu nearly five years ago, they've been pushing prevention to keep residents healthy.

"We routinely wash down wheel chairs, walkers, elevator buttons, hand rails in the hallways and doorknobs," said Greer.

Fox Hollow also has put hand sanitizer dispensers near all the entrances and common areas. They are also urging people to wash their hands frequently.

If you feel sick and plan to visit mom or dad, grandma or grandpa, the retirement home is asking that you think again.

"Please do not visit if you feel sick," said Babbit. "It is very important that they not share anything, especially with older adults."