Air Quality Alert: The National Weather Service has posted an Air Quality Alert for Middlesex, New Haven and Fairfield Counties from 2:00 p.m. through 10:00 p.m. Tuesday.  Ozone levels may approach or exceed unhealthy standards. Read More

RI Health Chief Declares That Flu Is Widespread

View Comments
A patient receives a flu shot.  (credit: Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

A patient receives a flu shot. (credit: Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — Rhode Island’s health director says the flu is now widespread in the state, a declaration that triggers a requirement that unvaccinated health workers must wear masks when having contact with patients.

Department of Health Director Michael Fine announced his decision Wednesday. He says vaccination is the best defense against the flu, and says that health care workers who haven’t been vaccinated can protect their patients by wearing masks.

In 2012 a union representing health care workers challenged the policy in court, saying there was no evidence it worked to prevent the spread of the flu. The lawsuit was later withdrawn.

The state says there have been 51 hospitalizations in Rhode Island related to the flu so far this season.

(© Copyright 2014 4he Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)


View Comments
blog comments powered by Disqus