Health Department says flu no longer widespread in RI

The state's top medical official said influenza is no longer widespread in Rhode Island, but he cautioned unvaccinated residents that the risk of catching the illness remains.

State health director Michael Fine said Monday that he has formally lifted a requirement that unvaccinated healthcare workers wear masks when treating patients.

Nevertheless, Fine said anyone that hasn't been immunized against the flu is still at risk for catching it. Flu season typically runs through May. This year's season saw an early bump in the number of flu-like illnesses reported by local hospitals.

Health officials said everyone 6 months of age and older should be vaccinated.