Toronto hospital ICU celebrates being COVID-19 free for the first time since March 2020
In what is perhaps a sign that we are finally turning a corner in the pandemic, one Toronto hospital is now celebrating a COVID-19 free intensive care unit.
Canada has seen 1.4 million cases so far and, sadly, the virus has claimed the lives of just over 26,000 people as of June 16, according to Health Canada.
So it may come as no surprise that Toronto General Hospital wanted to celebrate on Wednesday when, for the first time since March 26, 2020, their ICU had no COVID-19 patients.
COVID-free for the first time since March 26, 2020! 🎉 This is the first time the MSICU at Toronto General does not have any COVID patients. We are very grateful for the extraordinary MSICU team! #ThankYou pic.twitter.com/LGmNsF8snY— University Health Network (@UHN) June 16, 2021
In a video posted to Twitter in the evening of June 16, Denise Morris, a nurse manager in the ICU made the announcement to staff members.
"Thank you for your hard work, I feel like I am going to cry now," Morris says at the start of the video.
She says their first COVID case in the ICU was March 26, 2020.
"And today we are COVID free," she says to an eruption of applause and cheers from fellow nurses, doctors and staff members.
Thank you for your tireless work. We’ll do our best to keep you Covid free by getting vaccinated, continuing to wear masks indoors and reopening slowly!— Richard Underhill (@RichUnderhill) June 17, 2021
The nurses showed up every day committed to caring for their patients, Morris told CBC News on Wednesday.
"Today, I'm emotional that it's been 15 months, and today is the first day COVID-free and it's a wonderful feeling but it's not us. It's this group back here that we should be celebrating," she said.
A COVID-19 free ICU is a milestone, she said.
"We've had many successes and we've had some very sad times, but to see that this is coming to an end is a relief to everyone, but also a big testimony to the work that's gone on in this unit," said Morris.
There is still more work to be done, hospital communications staff told CP24 on Thursday there are still 100 COVID-19 patients at Toronto General who are no longer considered to be infectious.
But clearly this is some much needed good news in the long pandemic. The Tweet had 20,000 likes and over 3,000 retweets as of Thursday morning.
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