Regional West Medical Center is Prepared for COVID-19

SCOTTSBLUFF, Neb., ― As a regional referral center and a Level II Trauma Center, Regional West must always be prepared for infectious disease outbreaks, such as influenza, measles, whooping cough, and others, as well as COVID-19 − which has become a worldwide concern.

“At all times, we follow standard protocols for the care of patients with infectious diseases and we have policies and procedures in place for management of care and containment in the event a disease should become widespread,” said Regional West Chief Medical Officer Matthew Bruner, MD, FACOG.

In addition to highly trained physicians and advanced practice providers, Regional West has an infection prevention nurse specialist on staff, public health nurse specialists, and Scotts Bluff County health director Paulette Schnell, RN, MSN, also serves as the Community Health director. Regularly scheduled training is held to test and improve responses, often in cooperation with county and state emergency management experts. Regional West follows CDC guidelines and works closely with the state health department when infectious disease outbreaks occur, as demonstrated recently when caring for a patient that fit the COVID-19 testing criteria.

“We exercise an abundance of caution to provide care for all patients. This includes following infection prevention and control protocols at all times, whether we are caring for a patient with an infectious condition or one with a minor injury,” said Dr. Bruner. 

Since January, Regional West Medical Center and the Village at Regional West have restricted visitation due to widespread respiratory illnesses. Visitors under the age of 18 are not allowed in the hospital unless they are a patient or the parent of a patient. Masks are provided for patients with coughs who enter the Regional West clinics and the hospital. Anyone with a fever, cough, or other flu-like symptom is asked not to visit the hospital unless receiving patient care.

Regional West will test for common coronaviruses, along with rhinovirus, RSV, pertussis, and other viruses on standard respiratory panels. At this time, COVID-19 testing is performed at Nebraska Public Health Laboratory. 

“Not to minimize the concern about COVID-19, but colds and influenza continue to be a bigger concern for area residents at this time. We recommend you wash your hands carefully and frequently and get a flu shot if you haven’t already. If you don’t feel well and have a fever, stay home, rest, and drink plenty of fluids,” said Dr. Bruner.

For the latest information about COVID-19, visit the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services website at

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 in-network providers, and 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.