For the first time since the start of the pandemic more than two years ago, the AdventHealth Shawnee Mission in Merriam said Monday that it had zero COVID-19 patients throughout its facility.
Why it’s important: It is a major milestone for one of Johnson County’s largest hospitals and another indicator that the effects of the BA.2 subvariant on the local health system may not be as severe as previous waves of the virus.
Here’s how we found out: In a tweet Monday, AdventHealth said it had no active COVID-19 patients in either its ICU or its progressive care unit or PCU, which has been the hospital’s ongoing COVID-19 unit during the pandemic, according to a hospital spokesman.
Exciting news! For the first time since March 2020, we have 0 active COVID-19 patients throughout the hospital! Our ICU and PCU teams have worked tirelessly to provide excellent care to their patients and have met COVID-19 with grace, compassion and perseverance. pic.twitter.com/SZdFy3b1h1
– AdventHealth Kansas City (@AdventHealthKC) April 18, 2022
Not alone: Other local hospitals, including KU Health and St. Luke’s, too celebrated zero COVID patient milestones in recent weeks, and other health systems such as HCA Midwest have reported declining COVID-19 patients.
Other steps remain in place: Hospital officials say they still ask visitors to wear masks and require staff to wear masks in all public and patient-facing areas.
AdventHealth still tests patients who have been hospitalized with COVID-like symptoms or have been exposed to the disease.
New cases increase: Still new COVID-19 cases spurred by the BA.2 subvariant is rising in Johnson Countybut its impact on local hospitals does not appear to be as severe as during previous waves of the pandemic.
Local health authorities are still urging residents to take steps to protect themselves, including being vaccinated and boosted, but the county’s health department has stopped recommending a return to mask mandates.
Key quote: “Over the last two years, there has been fatigue and burnout as we have experienced staff shortages during various increases. Today, the first day of zero active COVID patients since March 2020, there is a sense of hope throughout “Despite everything we’ve been through, we’ve also come together and supported each other through challenging times,” said Morgan Shandler, spokesman for the AdventHealth Shawnee Mission.