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Flu Epidemic Forced Valley to Declare 'Divert Status'

Ambulances were asked to "consider transporting patients" elsewhere due to the increased patient volume at the Ridgewood hospital's emergency room. The divert status has since been lifted.

Update at 2:17 p.m. The divert status was lifted Tuesday at noon, according to spokeswoman Maureen Curran Kleinman

A significant increase in flu-stricken patients at its emergency room forced Valley Hospital to declare a temporary "divert" status on Tuesday.

"This means that area emergency medical service units are asked to use their judgment and consider transporting patients in ambulances elsewhere," Valley spokeswoman Maureen Curran Kleinman said Tuesday afternoon in an e-mail to Patch.

The hospital declared the status in the early morning hours of Tuesday as a result of crowding in its ER due to the flu. Occupancy at the emergency room is about 15 percent higher than normal, Curran Kleinman said.

Patients who arrive on their own were treated at the ER, Curran Kleinman said.

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