Beginning Monday, Great Plains Health expanded the visiting hours for patients in the hospital.

Visitor restrictions were first put into place in April and have been modified in accordance with the COVID-19 situation.

“We recognize the importance of visitors in the healing process of our patients and we are continually trying to strike a balance between safety and human connection,” said Mel McNea, chief executive officer. “As the pandemic continues to evolve, we continue to evaluate our practices on a regular basis to ensure that we have the safest policy in place for our patients, staff and the community.”

The visiting hours for inpatients at Great Plains Health are now 7 a.m.-6 p.m., Monday-Friday. Visiting hours are 7 a.m.-12 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays.

The visitor policy includes these limits:

  • Inpatient: One adult visitor during daily visitor hours 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday-Friday and 7 a.m. to 12 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays.
  • Outpatient departments, clinics, cancer center and same day services will be allowed one support person to accompany the patient.
  • Emergency department: No visitors are permitted with a few exceptions, including:
    • For pediatric (children) patients.
    • For patients with a cognitive impairment or disability who requires assistance to access care.
    • Patients in end-of-life care.
  • Behavioral health services: One adult visitor during the hours of 11:30 a.m.-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.
  • 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.
  • Visitation will be restricted for patients needing care that creates a risk to others, such as those on BiPAP or those on continuous high flow oxygen.
  • Special consideration for circumstances such as end of life.

All visitors and support persons must:

  • Be age 19 or older.
  • Show identification and pass 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.
  • Wear a mask. Visitors and support persons are asked to bring their own cloth mask or face covering to wear throughout their entire visit, including while inside the patient’s room.
  • Remain in the patient’s room while in the inpatient unit. Waiting rooms are closed at this time.

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.