RAPID CITY, S.D. (May 6, 2022) – Monument Health marked a very welcome milestone today. On May 6, 2022, the hospital system had no COVID-19-positive patients in any of its five Black Hills Hospitals.
“Although we could see more COVID-19 cases tomorrow, we can still celebrate our first Zero Day since the pandemic began more than two years ago,” said Shankar Kurra, M.D., Vice President of Medical Affairs at Rapid City Hospital.
Monument Health’s first COVID-19 hospitalized patient was admitted to the hospital on March 26, 2020, and the system has been caring for COVID-19 patients ever since. For a time in late August of 2021, Monument Health hospitals were caring for 110 COVID-19-positive patients, most at Rapid City Hospital.
A key reason for the drop in hospitalizations, Dr. Kurra said, is that most people are protected from the virus either through vaccination or from antibodies developed after a COVID-19 infection. However, he added, immunity can fade over time.
“Vaccination is still important,” Dr. Kurra said.