For the first time since the start of the pandemic, Antelope Valley Medical Center (AVMC) officially had no COVID positive patients in the hospital, officials announced.

“Although the patient count could change… At this moment in time, AVMC staff can exhale and acknowledge this milestone. AVMC recognizes the physicians, nurses and staff that have stayed strong and true on the frontlines of this pandemic,” hospital officials said in a news release issued Tuesday afternoon.

“I extend my sincerest appreciation and gratitude to the entire Antelope Valley Medical Center team, who have been through the ups and downs of this pandemic wave,” said Edward Mirzabegian, chief executive officer of Antelope Valley Medical Center. “It hasn’t been easy, however, by working together as a team, in addition to the efforts of our staff’s individual commitment and compassion, the hospital stayed strong and supported our community the last two years.”

During the height of the pandemic, Antelope Valley Medical Center received aid from Samaritan’s Purse, an international Christian relief organization that provided AVMC with an emergency field hospital. AVMC was one of three hospitals chosen in the United States to receive this type of assistance from the group.

“It’s been a journey, and although we may not entirely be out of the woods yet, this milestone brings us a glimpse of hope that there is a light at the end of the tunnel,” said Stephanie Herider, AVMC chief nursing officer.

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