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Boomerang between highs and lows: Ellis nurses and pandemic trials

Thursday, December 30, 2021

This summer, Ellis Medicine’s COVID-19 unit closed for a brief weekend. At the time, the last patient with the virus was able to go home, leaving the Schenectady hospital with no positive cases, Erica Crandall, an RN who works as a charge nurse in Ellis Medicine’s COVID-19 unit, told The Daily Gazette (see full story here).

“There were a few days where we didn’t have anyone that was COVID positive, and we were all like ‘Oh, my goodness. Wow,’” Crandall said. “We didn’t think ‘we did it,’ because we knew that something was going to happen, but I was never prepared for what ended up happening.”

We now know that what ended up happening was another surge in COVID-19 cases, first from the delta variant and then from the omicron variant, once again increasing hospitalizations and further straining an already stressed healthcare system. The state’s death count stood at 61,242 on Thursday, up from 59,280 at the start of December, according to federal data. Meanwhile, daily case counts in the state have reached their highest levels ever, eclipsing the previous peak seen about a year ago.

The boomerang between highs and lows is indicative of the trials Ellis nurses have faced in 2021. What started as a year of hope with the rollout of the vaccines has ended as a year of sadness, frustration and exhaustion, nurses say, with the future seeming less certain than ever.

  Read the full Daily Gazette story here

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