Regional West Medical Center Limits Visitation Due to Widespread Respiratory Illness

SCOTTSBLUFF, Neb., ― Regional West Medical Center is temporarily limiting visitor access due to widespread respiratory illness throughout the region. No visitors under age 18 will be allowed in the hospital until further notice, unless they are a patient or parent of a patient. In addition, any person with a fever, cough, or other flu-like symptom should not visit the hospital for social reasons.

Visitor restrictions were put in place based on public health and Regional West Community Health surveillance that showed a large increase in school absences in Scotts Bluff County last week.

“Visitors play an important role in a patient’s recovery, but promoting the health and well-being of our patients and staff is our highest priority. We’ve seen a rapid increase in the number of patients with respiratory illness in the past week, so we are adjusting the visitation policy to limit unnecessary exposure,” said Chief Medical Officer Jonathan Morgan, MD.

In addition to the medical center restrictions, visitors under age 18 will not be allowed at The Village at Regional West until further notice.

Area residents can take steps to avoid respiratory illness by washing hands frequently, using hand sanitizers, covering coughs appropriately (use a tissue and discard, or cough into your elbow instead of your hands), and staying home from work and/or school when sick. People should also avoid touching their nose, ears, and eyes during cold and flu season.

Anyone presenting to the hospital or clinics for evaluation and treatment that has a cough and/or fever will be provided with a mask and asked to wear the mask while in public areas in the facility, including waiting rooms.

Regional West Health Services in Scottsbluff, Neb., is the parent company of Regional West Medical Center, a 188-bed regional referral center and one of three Level II Trauma Centers in the state. As the region’s only tertiary referral medical center, Regional West offers care that spans more than 32 medical specialties provided by over 28 physician clinics. With nearly 300 providers, and over 2,000 employees, Regional West provides comprehensive and innovative health care services for the people of western Nebraska and the neighboring states of Colorado, South Dakota, and Wyoming.