Via Christi in Pittsburg says they have 0 COVID patients

PITTSBURG, Kan. – Zero. That’s the number of COVID patients currently at Ascension Via Christi in Pittsburg. Staff says it’s been a long 25 months to get to this point.

This was once the isolated COVID ward at Ascension Via Christi. It was once taped off, completely separated from the rest of the hospital. In November of last year, the plastic came down, as the need for the special COVID ward, wore off. Janelle Wade says “It was very um…enlightening and uplifting to be able to take the red tape up off the floor and to be able to open things back up and you could just feel like a collective sigh from staff to just relieved that maybe the end was in sight.”

While the COVID ward is technically ‘closed’, Via Christi’s Director of Inpatient Services Janelle Wade says that doesn’t mean the hospital can’t still take COVID patients. “We are always prepared to take our COVID patients, we could do another surge, not that we want to, but we could, all of our rooms are still easily, we can put patients in them and we could stand up a ward in just a matter of hours, so we can do it, we’ve done it a couple of different times, and unfortunately we’ve gotten pretty good at it, so, we can do it, we just hope we don’t have to.”

With the governor’s announcement Thursday that the state would begin the transition to an endemic state, Wade says it brightens the light at the end of the tunnel. “We’re ready to move forward and consider it one of the many diseases that people are hospitalized with, we deal with the flu every year, we deal with heart attacks, so we are ready to have COVID be yet just another disease that every once in a while we have to deal with.”

As Wade mentioned, Via Christi still has rooms prepped for COVID patients and at this time, masking is still required in the hospital.