Throughout 2020, our focus was on two fronts: defending our communities against the novel coronavirus and continuing to care for those with other medical needs. While COVID-19 challenged us, it strengthened our resolve and propelled us to find innovative ways to provide you and your loved ones the care you need, when you need it—safely and efficiently. This is our year in review.
Weeks before the novel coronavirus arrived on our doorstep, Yale New Haven Health launched a public information campaign to help educate our communities about the new disease. From the start, our medical experts were dedicated to providing the information you needed to keep yourself and your loved ones safe from COVID-19.
Visit our COVID-19 Information Hub
While the world watched the global path of the novel coronavirus in February, Yale New Haven Health was treating patients during a record-setting season of a more familiar illness – the flu.
Learn the differences between influenza and COVID-19
Yale New Haven Health cared for its first COVID-positive patient in March. With limited testing across the country, Yale New Haven Hospital’s virology lab developed its own COVID-19 diagnostic test for our hospitals and communities, helping to isolate positive cases and reduce the spread of the virus. Today, we offer testing for people with or without symptoms across CT and in RI.
Learn more about COVID-19 testing
Together. Stronger. At the height of the pandemic in April, nearly 800 COVID-19 patients were in Yale New Haven Health’s care. Our healthcare heroes defended our neighbors and loved ones with strength and resolve, thanks to the outpouring of support from our communities.
Show support for our caregivers
Hope on the horizon. In May, Yale New Haven Health discharged its 2,500th COVID-positive patient from Greenwich Hospital. Since March, more than 6,750 people were discharged back to their lives after being treated by our healthcare heroes.
Read our stories from the front lines
Safety first. In June, Yale New Haven Health tested more than 10,000 asymptomatic healthcare workers to assess the safety of our facilities. The tests yielded a less than 0.25 percent positivity rate, strengthening our health system’s resolve toward safety precautions and resumption of patient services deferred when the pandemic started.
Learn about our continued safety precautions
Where did all the emergencies go? From March through June, there was a staggering decline in emergency department visits at Yale New Haven Health and at hospitals across the country. Our medical experts took an active role in talking to our patients and the public, stressing the importance of not delaying your care, especially during a medical emergency.
Learn about when to go to the emergency room
In August, Yale New Haven Health kept its COVID-testing expansion rolling with mobile specimen-collection centers. RVs were deployed to various sites throughout New Haven, Bridgeport and New London to help our communities access the testing they needed to stay safe, right in their own neighborhoods.
Learn more about COVID-19 testing
September marked the sixth month of Yale New Haven Health’s COVID-19 call center, which handled more than 170,000 calls since March from throughout the U.S., Canada and as far away as Tanzania. Have a question about COVID-19? Our experts continue to help, 7 am - 7 pm, 7 days a week. Call 833-ASK-YNHH.
The pandemic shined a spotlight on something healthcare workers do every day: put patients first. Yale New Haven Health and Yale School of Medicine work side-by-side to support our employees’ well-being as they selflessly look after our communities’ health. During COVID-19, this effort includes helping our healthcare heroes access everything from groceries and childcare to respite rooms throughout the hospital, so they can stay strong for those who need it most, including themselves.
Watch the video
November brought more clinical innovation to Yale New Haven Health in the fight against COVID-19. Greenwich Hospital announced participation in a trial to treat critically ill COVID patients with hyperbaric oxygen therapy. The therapy may help patients avoid intubation and mechanical ventilators.
Read more about this potentially life-saving treatment
The light at the end of the tunnel. In December, Yale New Haven Health rallied with renewed enthusiasm with news of FDA approval for the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine. Vaccinations started with healthcare workers who provided direct patient care or critical support, such as those working in the EDs, ICUs and COVID units. When employees and medical staff were asked if they would receive the vaccine when available, 84% said yes. The health system’s frontline healthcare workers began receiving vaccinations Dec. 15, signifying a hope for the end of this unprecedented, months-long battle against an invisible foe.
Learn more about the COVID-19 vaccine