Washington County

Washington Health System celebrates first day of zero COVID cases since last summer

WASHINGTON COUNTY, Pa. — Washington Health System celebrated a much-needed milestone last week, the first day with no COVID cases since the summer of 2021.

“Last week was the first day we had zero COVID-related patients in-house, in the system for about eight months, going back to July 2021,” said Dr. John Six, Chief Medical Officer at Washington Hospital.

The critical care unit turned into the COVID unit, and has retained almost every member of the nursing team despite a very challenging two years.

“We were stressed out, I will be honest about that,” said Dr. Abhishek Sharma, a critical care physician with Washington Health System. “It was hard to cope, but I’m glad that we held it together as a team.”

Sharma says the medical team worked long hours and late nights, and saw a lot of tragic loss of life. He called his nurses the true heroes.

“Unfortunately, patients had to pass without being around their loved ones. The nurses were by their sides 24/7 holding their hands when they’d pass,” Sharma said.

The hospital transformed a break room into a “tranquility room”, with a private area, a massage chair and a board covered in thank-you letters from former patients and kids.

Doctors here say they still worry about variants, but there is an overall feeling of hope, especially with zero cases one day last week.

“This is being cautious; also hopeful, optimistic at the same time,” Sharma said.

“Can we call it cautiously optimistic?,” WPXI’s Cara Sapida asked him.

Sharma smiled. “We can say that.”

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