Augusta Health honors two years since their first COVID-19 patient

Augusta Health asks for the community's help in healing from COVID-19. (WHSV)
Augusta Health asks for the community's help in healing from COVID-19. (WHSV)(WHSV)
Published: Mar. 31, 2022 at 5:09 PM EDT
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AUGUSTA COUNTY, Va. (WHSV) - Two years ago Friday, April 1, Augusta Health saw their very first patient with COVID-19.

“It’s been a long two years,” said Dr. Clint Merritt, Population Health Chief for Augusta Health. “We’ve cared for a little over 2,000 patients with COVID at Augusta Health.”

Augusta Health has given out about 114,000 vaccines and have seen about 16,000 positive tests. Merritt said after spending so much time apart during the pandemic, they are remembering what’s really important.

“Working and being in school and going to church and having social gatherings and seeing family and having athletic events... all those things are super important, and I think COVID has taught us how really valuable they are, and we’re learning how to return to those things,” Merritt said.

He said he’s learned a lot in the last two years: some lessons about medicine and some about life.

He said without his team, the community wouldn’t be where it is now. Without community partners, Augusta Health couldn’t have done the things they did.

On top of that, he said they’ve all learned so much about COVID and public health. Finally, he acknowledged how burnout and fatigue impact daily life.

He said coming into the hospital Friday will be a bittersweet feeling.

“Happiness that our number of COVID patients in our community and our hospital is really low right now, and then a sense of magnitude and sadness over two years of local community members who had a lot of hardship during COVID,” Merritt said.

Merritt said over the last few days, their COVID inpatient census has been around two to four patients.

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