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Great Plains Health announces updated visitor policy

Hospital news | Friday, June 5, 2020

Contact: Megan McGown

CONTACT: Megan McGown, marketing manager | mcgownm@gphealth.org Office: 308.568.7531

North Platte, Neb. June 5, 2020 - Beginning Monday, June 8, Great Plains Health will lift certain visitor restrictions to patients in the hospital, emergency department, outpatient departments and clinics. Visitor restrictions were enhanced in April to a no-visitor policy in order to protect patients, visitors and staff from the spread of COVID-19.

“We understand how important visitors can be in the recovery process of our patients,” said Mel McNea, chief executive officer. “Great Plains Health is moving forward with a safe and smart plan to resume limited visitation at our hospital and clinics while continuing to protect the health of our patients, visitors and staff. We appreciate the community’s ongoing support and understanding.”

Effective Monday, June 8, 2020, Great Plains Health’s updated visitation guidelines will include:

  • Inpatient: One adult visitor during daily visitor hours 7 a.m. to 12 p.m.
  • Outpatient departments, clinics, Cancer Center and same day services will be allowed one support person to accompany the patient.
  • Emergency department: One support person may accompany emergency department patients 24/7.
  • Behavioral health services: One adult visitor during visitor hours 11:30 a.m. to 12 p.m.

These existing guidelines continue:

  • NICU and pediatric patients are allowed two parents 24/7
  • Post-partum patients are allowed one support person upon admission, to remain through discharge.
  • Special circumstances, such as end of life.
  • There will be no visitors allowed for confirmed positive COVID-19 patients, those patients awaiting COVID-19 test results or other patients on isolation precautions.

All visitors and support persons must be 19 or older and will be required to clear a health screening, including a temperature check. Any visitor or support person that shows symptoms or has a temperature higher than 100 degrees, will not be allowed to visit or accompany the patient.

Visitors and support persons are asked to bring their own cloth mask or face covering to wear throughout their entire visit.

The cafeteria and coffee shop are closed to the general public, but open to individuals that are onsite to support a patient.

“We feel confident in relaxing our visitor policy at this time," said Tina Pate, chief nursing officer. "We are taking it one day at a time as we slowly return to this new normal. We know that, at any time, the situation could change and we may revert back to a more restrictive policy if that happens.”

Great Plains Health continues to work closely with local and state public health officials and regularly reviews policies to ensure the safety and well-being of patients, staff and the community.

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About Great Plains Health

Based in North Platte, Nebraska, Great Plains Health is a fully accredited, 116-bed acute-care regional medical center serving western and central Nebraska, northern Kansas and southern South Dakota. With 90 physicians representing nearly 30 medical specialties, the Great Plains Health system offers advanced healthcare including heart and vascular, cancer and orthopedic surgery services. The system employs approximately 1,087 employees and serves a geographic area spanning approximately 67,832 square miles in 38 counties.

The hospital is accredited by the Joint Commission and is home to an American College of Surgeons accredited cancer center, primary stroke center and level II bariatric surgery program. Great Plains Health was named a Top Rural Hospital in 2019 by The Leapfrog Group, making it the first and only hospital in Nebraska to be named as a top hospital. For more information, visit gphealth.org.