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Toronto hospital ICU marks having no active COVID-19 patients for first time in nearly 15 months

Medical staff at the Toronto General Hospital ICU mark having zero COVID-19 patients after almost 15 months. Twitter / University Health Network

For medical staff who have been working around the clock in Ontario’s hospitals responding to three waves of the COVID-19 pandemic for nearly a year and a half that has resulted in harsh, unrelenting working conditions, there is a sign of promise at a Toronto intensive care unit.

Staff at Toronto General Hospital’s medical-surgical ICU marked a small celebration inside their unit Wednesday evening because for the first time in almost 15 months, staff reported have no active COVID-19 patients.

“Thank you for your hard work. I feel like I’m going to cry now,” Denise Morris, the nurse manager for the unit, could be heard saying in a video published on the University Health Network’s Twitter account.

“Our first COVID case was March 26, 2020, and today we are COVID-free.”

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More than two dozen employees who were gathered in the hallways broke out in applause and cheered upon hearing the declaration. Officials with the hospital said there while there are no active patients with COVID-19, there are still people in the hospital being treated for longer-haul symptoms stemming from their infections.

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An hour-and-a-half after the tweet was published Wednesday evening, it had more than 1,500 retweets and quote tweets as well as 6,200 likes.

The news came a day after Ontario saw a record number of daily COVID-19 vaccine doses administered, almost 203,000.

According the Ontario government’s latest vaccine data, more than 9,081,000 people have had at least one (of two) COVID-19 shot, representing 75.1 per cent of all eligible adults, and 18.1 per cent of eligible adults have received two doses and are now fully immunized.

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Wednesday’s case count topped out at 384, which is an increase from Tuesday’s total (293). However, test positivity dropped to below two per cent. It is the 10th straight day cases are below 600.

The government reported 71 cases were recorded in Waterloo, 60 in Peel Region, 54 in Toronto, 23 in Middlesex-London and 21 in Ottawa on Wednesday. Waterloo Region surpassed Toronto and Peel for the most cases within the count. All other local public health units reported fewer than 20 new cases.

— With files from Gabby Rodrigues

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