They said get ready, so we did.
Word of a mysterious new illness from China hit our radar in Nacogdoches in late January and by the first week in February, Nacogdoches Memorial Hospital had sent out an educational link reminding us of cough etiquette. Then the monitoring began.
By the first week of March, preparations were in full swing. Travel and visitor restrictions were instituted the second week of March. Ten days later, on March 23, we admitted our first COVID-19 patient at Memorial Hospital. On March 25, after a whirlwind of effort by a joint task force comprised of us, Nacogdoches Medical Center, the City of Nacogdoches, Nacogdoches County and Stephen F. Austin State University, the Community COVID-19 Call Center and Testing Tent was launched. So far, Nacogdoches has tested over 1,650 people and fielded well over 2,700 calls.
Emergency management officials across the nation warned that hospitals should brace for an unprecedented onslaught, so that is what we did. We stepped up and worked hard, pulling for each other and keeping our sense of humor. Though our city is reopening and returning to some level of normalcy like the rest of our state, this is not over. It’s worth remembering that COVID-19 is still out there, still mysterious and unpredictable and still killing people. This is not a time to get complacent.
Nacogdoches Memorial is getting busier. On June 18, Nacogdoches Memorial Professional Group and the Care First Clinics matched their daily visits average for November. That same day, our medical imaging department set what could be a record for number of procedures in a day.
Enjoy this recap newsletter of the past few months and reflect on the camaraderie that you shared with your fellow COVID-19 warriors. Whether you were on the front lines yourself, supported those who were, or kept the house running while the battles raged, you had an important part in the history of Memorial. Relish the teamwork that just happened and is still happening. We’re Nacogdoches Memorial Health, where people come first.