The St. George Regional Hospital reached a significant milestone in the battle against the coronavirus early last week. Teri Draper, spokesperson for the hospital, reported that there were no COVID-19 patients in the facility’s intensive care unit. That’s the first time that’s happened in nearly a year, Draper said. There were only six patients with the disease in the rest of the 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 with multiple deaths on many days during the year.

“We are thrilled with no COVID ICU patients,” said Draper.

Hospital Medical Director Dr. Patrick Carroll told the St. George News that the reason for the change can be summed up in one word: vaccinations.

“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.

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