For the most up to date information on COVID-19, also known as coronavirus, we encourage you to follow the Centers of Disease Control @ and the Department of Health and Human Services @

If you are at all personally suspicious of a COVID-19 exposure, it is still very important that you first call your health care provider prior to presenting to a facility for further special instructions to limit the potential exposure to others.



Hospital Prepares for Pandemic 

Coronavirus or COVID-19 is having an impact on all of our lives. The World Health Organization (WHO) has announced that we currently have a pandemic on our hands, which means the virus is prevalent around the world. There are multiple sources of information where you can learn about the spread of this virus, how to protect yourself and what to do if you become ill. Sources such as the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) or the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) are excellent sources for accurate and current information.  

The severity of illness for those that contract the virus varies from mild respiratory illness, most common in younger patients, to severe respiratory illness, which has been shown to be most prevalent in elderly patients and patients of any age with underlying health conditions. For this reason, it is important for everyone to be mindful of the ability for this virus to spread quickly and to take precautions to minimize exposure. One of the most basic steps that can be taken to avoid illness is to wash your hands. Don’t skimp, use soap and water and take your time, 20 seconds of friction at minimum. Try to keep your hands away from your face and if you sneeze or cough, use a tissue or your sleeve.  

The priority at Pawnee County Memorial Hospital is to be prepared for patients from our community that may be impacted by the virus. This means anticipating the need for additional supplies, staying current with the recommendations for treatment, providing treatment when needed and protecting patients and staff from unnecessary exposure. Like all healthcare facilities across the country, keeping staff healthy is vital to maintaining the medical services in the community. The following measures have been implemented to safeguard patients and staff from unnecessary exposure: 

  • Visiting restrictions are in place for all hospital and Emergency patients. Nursing staff will evaluate each situation to determine risk and benefit of visitation. Visitors will be screened for any respiratory illness and elevated temperature prior to visitation. 
  • Non-essential visitors will be reduced as much as possible.  
  • Routine services continue to be offered; however, it is recommended that only those individuals essential to the care of the patient, accompany them to the hospital. It is recommended that children stay away from the hospital unless personal medical care is needed.  
  • Restricted access: Currently the main door will be open during business hours. The Emergency door on the north side of the building is locked. Individuals needing emergency care, will contact nursing staff through the phone outside this entrance. Prior to entry individuals will be screened for symptoms and protective equipment such as masks, gloves and gowns will be used to protect staff from exposure to illness prior to patient contact. 
  • If you are scheduling a clinic appointment for respiratory symptoms or fever, you will be screened by phone for coronavirus risk factors and may be asked to follow specific instructions upon arrival to the hospital. It is vital that these instructions be followed. 

Important information for patients: 

  • If you are coming to the hospital for any reason and you have respiratory symptoms, please put on a mask immediately. These will be available at each entrance.  
  • Call before you come for an emergency related to a respiratory illness. This will allow the staff to be prepared and more quickly meet your needs while also protecting themselves from exposure. 
  • Follow specific instructions you have been given by phone before entering the building. 
  • Leave extra people/family at home. This will reduce everyone’s risk of exposure to the coronavirus and other illnesses that may be circulating. 
  • Watch the Pawnee County Memorial Hospital’s Facebook page and website for updated information. 

Ruth Stephens, PCMH Administrator, stated, “Our goal is to safeguard patients and staff from exposure. Our elderly population is vulnerable. Limiting unnecessary exposure for the hospital staff, which could negatively impact the availability of services, is a vital link in ensuring that care is available when needed. The information about the virus changes daily and we will adjust our strategies as needed to safely serve our patients.” 

For the best guidance refer to the CDC or Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services as a trusted source of information: 


Nebraska DHHS: 




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