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Great Plains Health loosens visitor policy, continues to require masks

Thursday, June 10, 2021

June 10, 2021

CONTACT: Megan McGown, director of marketing

mcgownm@gphealth.org | Office: 308.568.7531 | Mobile: 308.250.1493

North Platte, Neb. June 10, 2021 – Great Plains Health announced today that the visitor policy will relax to allow children ages 16 and older to visit patients in all areas. This is a change in the previous policy that restricted visitors under age 19.

Additional changes to the visitor policy include:

  • Two support persons will be allowed in same day services.
  • Pediatric patients are allowed to have both parents at the bedside, including in the emergency department.

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) advise healthcare facilities to take steps to prevent the spread of COVID-19 through infection prevention policies and practices and to review CDC guidelines and advisories. In accordance with CDC recommendations for healthcare settings, masks are still required for patients, staff and visitors — including those who have received the COVID-19 vaccine — at all Great Plains Health locations. In addition, each visitor will be screened for COVID-19 symptoms prior to entering the building.

“As COVID-19 cases decline in our community, we are evaluating our practices to ensure that we have the safest policy in place for our patients, staff and the community,” said Mel McNea, chief executive officer. “We recognize the importance that visitors play in the healing process of our patients, and we are continually trying to balance our policies with the need to keep our patients, staff and community safe and prevent the transmission of COVID-19. We respect the loosening of mask mandates across the state and nation, however the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s most recent guidelines do not cover healthcare settings and we will continue to require masks at all Great Plains Health sites and clinics.”

“We have collaborated with other hospitals in our region and are confident that our policies are in line what others are doing as well as following CDC recommendations for healthcare settings,” said Tina Pate, chief nursing officer. “Our hope is that as more people are vaccinated and the spread of COVID-19 continues to decline, we will be able to return to a much more relaxed visitor policy.”

The current Great Plains Health visitor policy can be viewed at gphealth.org/visitors.

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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 health care, including heart and vascular, cancer, and orthopedic surgery services. Great Plains Health is a Level III trauma center, and all of its emergency department physicians are residency-trained and board-certified in emergency medicine. The system employs approximately 1,093 employees and serves a geographic area spanning approximately 16,000 square miles.

The hospital is accredited by the Joint Commission and is home to an American College of Surgeons-accredited cancer center and Level II bariatric surgery program. For more information, visit gphealth.org.