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GPH sees record COVID-19 cases

Great Plains Health is treating a record number of COVID-19 patients.
Great Plains Health is treating a record number of COVID-19 patients.(Beatriz Reyna)
Published: Sep. 21, 2021 at 8:24 PM CDT
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NORTH PLATTE, Neb. (KNOP) - Great Plains Health is reporting an all-time high of COVID positive patients.

Last week, the health care facility reported 19 patients. That number has now jumped to 26. Of those, 90% are not vaccinated.

A press conference to address the media on the latest update was held Tuesday afternoon.

Great Plains Health CEO Mel McNea said the hospital is operating on an hour by hour basis as the hospital is full and treating seven patients in the emergency room.

“We’re trying to be creative when it comes to caring for our these patients,” said CNO Tina Pate. “We’re sending patients home with oxygen and pulse oximeters from the ER when we feel that they are safe to do so and each patient is evaluated. “We’re trying to get them the level of care that’s appropriate and sometimes we are holding them in the ER for a number of hours.”

The hospital has also seen an increase of violence towards staff.

“We have to follow OSHA regulations, which requires masks in the hospital, wherever we are at, we have to require that for our outpatients, our inpatients and the family,” McNea said. “Please do not take your feelings about masking out on our staff, they’re facing enough of those emotional issues. We’ve had threats made just like Tina said to the institution, the leadership and our medical staff.”

McNea also urged the public with COVID symptoms to use urgent care or their primary care clinic to prevent from further hindering the hospital system.

“When you come to our ER you might have a long wait,” McNea said. “Our clinics are open because if we start pushing sick patients to the hospitals, like closing clinics, we’re just going to create a larger disaster. So it’s really important that if you are not feeling good, if you tested positive and you have an opportunity and your primary care clinic is open or urgent care is open go there first.”

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