COVID-19 has taken a toll on our community, our country, and beyond. It drags on and begs the question, “Are we there yet? This HAS to end soon… right?” The simple answer is, no. However, it is paramount to stay positive during stressful times like this. There is an end. To get there, communities have to pull together and recognize that one of the most effective ways to reach the ‘light at the end of the COVID tunnel’ is to keep practicing the habits formed during this pandemic. This includes social distancing, limited traveling, frequent handwashing, and wearing a mask in public.
Because businesses are opening back up and school has started, a spike in cases is happening in our area. According to the Panhandle Public Health District Risk Dial, the risk of spreading COVID-19 in the Nebraska Panhandle is still considered moderate, but creeping closer to high every week.
To keep Box Butte General Hospital staff and the community as safe as possible, BBGH still has visitation restrictions in place. This allows one adult, who is 19 or older, to accompany any patient (some exceptions may apply, determined on a case-by-case basis). Children who have an appointment may be accompanied by one parent or guardian, but other children may not attend the appointment with the parent and child who is being seen. BBGH staff has implemented more extensive safety measures for staff, including wearing face shields in patient care areas. Masks are still required for anyone entering the hospital, with the only exception being exercising in the Wellness Center.
Guidelines such as visitation restrictions are practiced by other hospitals like Regional West Medical Center in Scottsbluff and Great Plains Health in North Platte, and are similar or identical to the restrictions BBGH has in place.
BBGH thanks all patients and visitors in advance for their understanding and patience during this stressful time. In the words of PPHD, “Be Supportive. Be Careful. Be Alert. Be Kind.”