WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) — One year ago Thursday, the first COVID-19 case in the United States was confirmed in Washington state. Wichita area hospitals were already preparing for the virus before that case and continued to prepare until the first positive case in the Sunflower state showed up six weeks later on March 7, 2020.
“We had already started to screen patients for travel history to China in our hospitals,” said Sam Antonios, M.D., Chief Medical Officer for Ascension Via Christi. “That’s even before anything else, not even a single case in the US and we were already doing that.”
One nurse explained the biggest challenge the staff has faced in its nearly year-long battle against the coronavirus.
“Some of these nurses have been nurses for 20-30 years, and they’ve seen as much death in the last year and sometimes maybe even double the death in the last year than they have seen in their last 20-30 years,” said Jennifer Rogers, a nurse manager at Ascension Via Christi Saint Francis
Dr. Antonios believes the lessons learned over the last year will help future hospitals and their staff prepare for the next time a pandemic occurs.
“We have seen the benefit of collaboration, working together,” said Antonios. “That has made a difference in my opinion.”
“We will get through this,” adds Rogers. “Hopefully learn from it on all fronts of everything because hindsight is always 20/20.”
Listed below is a timeline of significant events throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.