ST. GEORGE — The darkest days of the COVID-19 pandemic have been in the intensive care unit of St. George Regional Hospital.
During the worst spread of the disease that has killed 263 Southern Utahns and infected 28,231 others, the nurses and doctors tended to a full ICU unit as well as an extra surge ICU unit created to take the excess capacity – standing over multiple deaths per day without friends and family allowed to be bedside. But this week, the darkness has become a bright new day as the number of COVID-19 patients in the ICU reached an important milestone: Zero.
"We are thrilled with no COVID ICU patients," said Terri Draper, spokesperson for St. George Regional Hospital, which up until January was known as Dixie Regional Medical Center.
As of Friday, there have been no COVID-19 patients in the St. George Regional ICU since Monday. There are currently six total COVID-19 patients in the rest of the hospital. Medical Director Dr. Patrick Carroll told St. George News that the reason for the change can be summed up in one word: vaccinations.
We are thrilled with no COVID ICU patients.
–Terri Draper, spokesperson, St. George Regional Hospital
"The average age of hospitalization has decreased as those 60 and over have had high vaccination rates so we have seen a direct impact on decreased hospitalizations as a result of vaccinations," Carroll said.