“All the staff from all the wards gathered and shook the tambourines, and my nurse, who’s been there since the beginning, Dana Morgan, drove the patient out,” said clinical nurse chief Dominick Armijo. “It was so emotional.”
Officials from Santa Fe Hospital told KOB 4 that this was a turning point in their two-year battle against the deadly virus.
“We are actually moving the containment units – as this is a different phase and we are all vaccinated – to try to incorporate them into the general population,” Armijo said.
Since the most recent COVID increase in January, hospital admissions across New Mexico have fallen sharply from 713 to 107 as of Thursday.
In Albuquerque, the University of New Mexico Hospital has also converted its COVID units back to regular units. Officials said there are fewer virus cases, but the hospital is still overwhelmed.
“We continue to be over 100% capacity,” said Chief Medical Officer Dr. Irene Agostini. “There has been a lot of delayed treatment and people have not been to their doctor, and so no matter what chronic medical problems they have, they often get worse. Even when the weather gets warmer at the University of New Mexico Hospital, we see more trauma . “
Armijo said that St. Vincent is experiencing a similar increase in non-COVID-related patients.
“There are lots of telemedicine events now, and if you need to get to the hospital, then definitely do, but let’s just be more thoughtful about what we do when we visit the hospital.”
Even with full beds, both hospitals say they are happy to see fewer COVID cases and they are ready if the virus rises again.
“It’s a little bit exciting, but we’re really – I’m really cautiously optimistic because of the variants going on,” Armijo said.
“Cautious optimism is a great expression,” said Dr. Agostini. “We are moving forward by changing some of the ways we do things. But we continue to see other parts of the country and what is happening in Europe to see if COVID numbers will increase.”