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Great Plains Health urges the public to remain vigilant

Hospital news | Wednesday, July 8, 2020

Contact: Megan McGown

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

July 8, 2020 – North Platte, NE – Great Plains Health would like to urge the public to continue practicing social distancing and other safety measures as the COVID-19 pandemic continues.

As COVID-19 numbers rise across the nation, Great Plains Health reminds the public to limit their exposure to the virus by following public health guidelines, such as wearing a mask or face covering, maintaining a social distance of six feet from others and practicing good hand hygiene.

With summer travel on the rise and events, such as weddings and graduations increasing, hospital officials ask for the public’s help in reducing the risk of spreading COVID-19.

“Even though Directed Health Measures have lessened restrictions, we still need to be cautious about the spread of COVID-19, said Mel McNea, chief executive officer. “This pandemic continues to be a dynamic challenge with local conditions changing by the day. It is important to recognize that re-opening is not the same as returning to ‘normal’, and now is not the time to let our guard down.”

“One of the most effective things we can do to protect ourselves and others is to wear a mask or face covering when out in public, said Jenny Lantis, Great Plains Health infection prevention coordinator. “It is also best to avoid crowds, wash your hands often and please stay home if you are sick.”

Great Plains Health is maintaining precautionary measures such as:

  • All individuals, including staff, entering Great Plains Health facilities, must wear a mask or other face covering.
  • Limited visitor policy.
  • Screening all visitors, staff and vendors entering the facility.
  • All surgery staff is tested for COVID-19 and confirmed negative before participating in any procedure.
  • Patients scheduled for elective surgical procedures, in-house sleep studies or pulmonary function tests (PFT) are tested for COVID-19 and a negative result is required before proceeding.
  • Staff in all Great Plains Health facilities that provide direct patient care wear masks and goggles or face shields.
  • Waiting areas accommodate six-foot social distancing.
  • Extra cleaning and disinfection of high-touch surface areas will continue.
  • Infectious patients are cared for in isolation, away from non-infectious patients.
  • COVID-19 testing on surgery staff, respiratory therapy, diagnostic imaging and other staff in high-risk areas.

“The safety and well-being of our patients, staff members and our community is our top priority,” said McNea. “But we can’t do it alone. We need to work together to beat COVID-19. Wear your mask, wash your hands and practice social distancing. These are small requests when it comes to protecting the community and our loved ones.”

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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.