Media Release
Jessica Prussa

Foundation and Marketing Director
Public Information Officer
(402) 925-1956

March 23, 2020                                                                                                                    

COVID-19 Response Update from West Holt Medical Services

ATKINSON, NE — At West Holt Medical Services (WHMS), our primary concern remains taking care of patients in our community. Our Incident Command Emergency Preparedness team is meeting every day to plan, prepare, and coordinate our efforts during the COVID-19 Global Pandemic.

Our infection prevention coordinator and clinical team are in regular contact with the North Central District Health Department (NCDHD) and are using the most current recommendations from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). As a result, WHMS has made the following temporary changes to protect our patients and employees from the spread of, and potential exposure to, coronavirus (COVID-19).

Specialty Clinic Visits

WHMS has suspended all in-person specialty clinic appointments until further notice. Our team is working on providing some specialties through Telemedicine. We are reaching out to patients who have scheduled appointments to advise them on next steps. Anyone with questions about an upcoming appointment or procedure at WHMS should call (402) 925-2811.

Our focus is on protecting patients, employees and traveling providers while conserving critical supplies. Hospitals and clinics throughout the state and country are taking similar action.

Retail Pharmacy Changes
West Holt Pharmacy is not offering walk-in services at this time, but individuals are encouraged to use the drive-thru option when picking up prescriptions. Drive-thru hours are Monday–Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.

The pharmacy is offering free prescription delivery for home-bound patients in Atkinson and prescription mailing services. If you need over-the-counter medication or supplies, please call ahead to check on availability. There are three easy ways for patients to refill their prescriptions; Online at, using the free mobile app Rx2Go or by calling the pharmacy at (402) 925-2651.

“We have an amazing team of people at WHMS who are diligently working every day and around the clock to provide the best and safest care to our patients and community. I want to recognize our providers, our staff, and our entire healthcare team. People are stepping up every minute and are working in positions that they may not normally work in. Our team has kicked into action, proactively preparing our contingency plans for a potential surge of COVID-19 patients,” shared chief executive officer, Ashley J. Rivera.

WHMS continues to follow the recommendations of NCDHD and the CDC in the fight against the COVID-19 virus. More information and resources about COVID-19 are available at and

For the latest changes happening at WHMS visit
# # #

For Immediate Release: 7:10PM CT on March 19, 2020

 Media Contacts:  Taylor Gage, 402-471-1970, Justin Pinkerman, 402-471-1967

 Media Release:  Gov. Ricketts Issues Executive Order to Provide Relief to Restaurants and Bars during COVID-19 Emergency  

 LINCOLN – Today, Governor Pete Ricketts issued an executive order to provide relief to restaurants and bars as they continue to serve Nebraskans during the coronavirus 2019 disease (COVID-19) pandemic.  In keeping with federal guidelines, the State of Nebraska has issued guidance that restaurants and bars are currently limited to 10 patrons as part of a nationwide social distancing effort to slow the spread of COVID-19.

On March 19th, the State of Nebraska directed restaurants and bars in Cass, Douglas, Sarpy, and Washington counties to close their dining / seating areas and move to takeout, carry-out, or delivery only.  This action came after the Douglas County Public Health Department reported its second case of COVID-19 that officials could not trace to its origin (commonly known as a “community spread” case).

The Governor’s executive order will permit restaurants and bars statewide greater flexibility to serve Nebraskans during the current public health emergency

  • Liquor Licensing – Establishments such as pizza parlors (Class A license holders) will be able to sell beer to customers on take-out or delivery orders.  Restaurants (Class I license holders) will be able to sell beer, wine, and spirits to customers placing take-out or delivery orders.
  • Sale of Alcohol – To encourage social distancing, restaurants and bars will be permitted to sell alcohol on drive-thru or curbside orders without customers having to exit their motor vehicles.
  • Temporary Operating Permits – Temporary operating permits will be extended from 90 to 180 days.
  • Waiver of Excise Tax Penalties – Excise tax payees still have the duty to file and pay the excise tax according to statute.  However, the executive order will waive penalties for late payments.
  • Payment of beer, wine, and spirit deliveries – Under normal circumstances, beer must be paid for upon delivery and wine and spirit deliveries must be paid within 30 days.  The executive order will give restaurants and bars 90 days to pay for beer, wine, and spirit deliveries for the duration of the COVID-19 emergency.

Complete text of the executive order is available by clicking here.


Gov. Ricketts Issues Executive Order to Temporarily Ease Driver and Vehicle Requirements


News Release from the City of O’Neill
Effective Monday March 23 through April 3, 2020

 As we join in the community-wide effort to curtail the potential spread of COVID-19, City facilities will operate according to the following:

Closed facilities:

  • O’Neill CommunityCenter
  • O’Neill Public Library:  The front doors may be locked but we are available if you call with a question or book request.

You may still call closed facilities during regular business hours to speak with available staff.

Controlled Access Facilities:

  • O’Neill CityOffice
  • O’Neill PoliceDepartment

Each controlled access facility has a sign at the door. Visitors must call the phone number on the sign and be pre-screened prior to entry.

These may be subject to change. We ask for your patience and understanding during this time.


Avera St. Anthony’s Hospital and Avera Medical Group, O’Neill Coronavirus (Covid-19) Update


North Central District Health Department Letter to Area Agency on Aging and Senior Center


WHMS & GSFH Increase Screening Precautions for Covid-19