St. George Regional Hospital reaches critical number for COVID-19 patients in the ICU: Zero

St. George Regional Hospital, St. George, Utah. March 13, 2021 | Photo by Chris Reed, St. George News

ST. GEORGE — The darkest days of the COVID-19 pandemic have been in the intensive care unit of St. George Regional Hospital. 

St. George Regional Hospital. St. George, Utah. March 13, 2021 | Photo by Chris Reed, St. George News

During the worst spread of the disease that has killed 263 Southern Utahns and infected 28,231 others, the nurses and doctors tended to a full ICU unit as well as an extra surge ICU unit created to take the excess capacity – standing over multiple deaths per day without friends and family allowed to be bedside. But this week, the darkness has become a bright new day as the number of COVID-19 patients in the ICU reached an important milestone: Zero.

“We are thrilled with no COVID ICU patients,” said Terri Draper, spokesperson for St. George Regional Hospital, which up until January was known as Dixie Regional Medical Center.

As of Friday, there have been no COVID-19 patients in the St. George Regional ICU since Monday. There are currently six total COVID-19 patients in the rest of the hospital. Medical Director Dr. Patrick Carroll told St. George News that the reason for the change can be summed up in one word: vaccinations.

“The average age of hospitalization has decreased as those 60 and over have had high vaccination rates so we have seen a direct impact on decreased hospitalizations as a result of vaccinations,” Carroll said. 

In a file photo, some of the first caregivers to receive the COVID-19 vaccination in Southern Utah shows of his band-aid at what was then Dixie Regional Medical Center in St. George, Utah, on Dec. 16, 2020. | Photo courtesy of Intermountain Healthcare

In Utah – after medical workers, first responders and K-12 teachers and staff – people have been vaccinated in stages from oldest to youngest. Health officials said at the time the strategy was to first vaccinate those in the age groups most likely to be hospitalized or die from COVID-19. 

April 8 marks the last day since the Southwest Utah Public Health Department last reported a Southern Utahn who died from the disease.

While the “Heroes Work Here” signs can still be seen around the hospital, Draper was eager to thank the rest of the community.

“The reason we’re seeing such a decline is everyone working together to get vaccinated and take the proper measures,” Draper said. “The students have been leaders on this and businesses and the local health district. We’ve been so grateful for that support.”

Dr. Patrick Carroll, medical director of Dixie Regional Medical Center, speaks by teleconference with reporters on Oct. 29, 2020. St. George, Utah. | Photo courtesy of Intermountain Healthcare, St. George News

On Thursday, Washington County was given a green bill of health moving into the lowest alert level of the COVID-19 Transmission Index. Much of Southern Utah is at the low level, with the exception of Iron and Beaver counties which remain moderate with some of the higher rates of infection currently in the state. 

As other parts of the country have seen recent surges of the virus, don’t expect to see Carroll getting into a dance of celebration yet. 

“That’s probably premature. We’re excited. We’ve been able to loosen a little bit,” Carroll said. “We want to stay there forever. Ongoing vaccinations will ensure that we don’t have to deal with a surge again. As always, we’ll be ready if we need to bring people in again.”

Getting the COVID-19 vaccine

  • Those who can currently get first dose of the vaccine: Everyone ages 16 and over. Those 16-18 can only receive the Pfizer vaccine. Use to find clinics that have the Pfizer vaccine.
  • Those who can receive the second dose: Those who received their first injection 28 days or more before the appointment time.
  • Must register in advance online for an appointment time.
  • Must have a personal ID and wear a short-sleeve shirt at appointment.
  • Proof of residency may be required, though a person does not have to reside in the county they are receiving the vaccine. Part-time residents can get vaccinated with proof of residency.
  • Vaccines are free of charge.
  • Those without email addresses or unable to make reservations online can get help at a specialized hotline at 435-986-2549.
  • To get alerts for when new vaccine appointments are added with the Southwest Utah Public Health Department, text SWUHEALTH to 888777.

Washington County:

Where: St. George Active Life Center, 245 N. 200 West, St George

Reservations: Click to register 

Iron County:

Where: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints Wedgewood Lane, 2015 N Wedgewood Lane, Cedar City.

Reservations: Click to register 

Kane County:

Where: Southwest Utah Public Health Department Kanab office, 445 N. Main St., Kanab.

Reservations: Click to register 

Garfield County:

Where: Southwest Utah Public Health Department Panguitch office, 601 Center St., Panguitch.

Reservations: Click to register

Beaver County:

Where: Southwest Utah Public Health Department Beaver Office,  75 1175 North, Beaver.

Reservations: Click to register

St. George Regional Hospital/Intermountain Healthcare:

Where: 400 East Campus St. George Regional Hospital,  544 S. 400 East, St. George.

Reservations: Click to register

FourPoints Health:

Where: Various locations.

Reservations: Click to register

Revere Health:

Where: Revere Health Campus,  2825 E. Mall Drive, St. George.

Reservations: Click to register

Rocky Vista University:

Where: Rocky Vista University – Southern Utah Campus,  255 E. Center St. in Ivins.

Reservations: Click to register


Where: 745 N Dixie Dr in St. George and 915 Red Cliffs Dr. in Washington City.

Reservations: Click to register


Where: 1189 E. 700 South in St. George and 3520 Pioneer Parkway in Santa Clara.

Reservations: Click to register

Lin’s Marketpace:

Where: 1930 W. Sunset Blvd.  and 2928 E. Mall Drive in St. George, 1120 State St. in Hurricane and 150 N Main St. in Cedar City.

Reservations: Click to register

Smith’s Food and Drug:

Where: 20 N. Bluff St. and 565 S. Mall Drive in St. George and 633 S. Main St. in Cedar City.

Reservations: Click to register


Where: 625 W. Telegraph St. in Washington City, 180 N. 3400 West in Hurricane and 1330 S. Providence Center Dr. in Cedar City.

Reservations: Click to register

Family pharmacies:

Where: Several locations

Reservations: Use to find a location near you

COVID-19 information resources

St. George News has made every effort to ensure the information in this story is accurate at the time it was written. However, as the situation and science surrounding the coronavirus continues to evolve, it’s possible that some data has changed.

Check the resources below for up-to-date information and resources.

Copyright St. George News, LLC, 2021, all rights reserved.

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