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For first time in 2 weeks, non-COVID patients outnumber COVID-19 patients at Crisp Regional

The healthcare heroes at Crisp Regional Hospital took a giant step toward the “new normal” of a post-pandemic society today. For the first time since COVID-19 cases reached a peak at the hospital on April 13, the regional healthcare provider now has fewer COVID-19 patients than non-COVID-19 patients.

Crisp Regional Hospital currently has 25 COVID-19-positive inpatients and six inpatients with pending COVID-19 results. Hospital staff have treated 154 patients with positive COVID-19 test results and seen 36 completely recover and only 10 lose their lives.

“It’s been a rough go for the last six weeks or so. Staff have worked a lot of hard hours,” said Crisp Regional Chief Nursing Officer April Dukes. “We’ve begun to see over the past 14 days a decline in COVID patients. Around April 13 was our peak. Today, we actually have more non-COVID patients in the hospital than COVID patients, so I feel like it’s a day of celebration. It feels like we’re shifting back to normal.”

That means some of the hospital’s healthcare professionals who had dropped their traditional assignments to temporarily help with the surge in COVID-19 patients are returning to their original roles. Dukes describes the pandemic now as a dam that is holding back a rising tide of patients who have been holding off on elective procedures until the coronavirus is under control.

Dukes said that Crisp Regional Hospital is likely one of the safest places around, and her colleagues are ready to tend to traditional surgical procedures and treatments.

“We have around 70 cases ready for scheduling and we’ll gradually begin handling those cases next week,” Dukes said. “There’s still a lot of COVID left to deal with, but we’re ready to return to dealing with more routine procedures like colonoscopies, sleep center studies, and other elective procedures.”

Read the full interview with Crisp Regional’s April Dukes in Wednesday’s print edition of the Dispatch to learn more about the hospital’s plans to lead the way into the “new normal” of healthcare in a world forever changed by the COVID-19 pandemic.