SARASOTA, Fla. — Doctors Hospital of Sarasota reported Friday that for the first time since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, there were no hospitalized COVID-19 patients.
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The hospital had the first COVID-19 patient in the Sunshine State in February 2020. The patient, a Manatee County man, was admitted with COVID-19 symptoms, but was not determined positive until six days after being admitted. The delay was due to the CDC testing guidelines at the time, which stated a person could only be tested for coronavirus if they had traveled to a COVID dense country or was around someone who had.
"I think when this started and we got the first patient, we didn't know what to expect," Chief Nursing Officer Todd Haner said. "As we moved forward and we saw what was happening, it became very stressful."
At a press conference on Friday, Haner expressed how far we've come amid the pandemic.
"There's been a lot of progress done in a very short period of time. So it's a great thing for everybody," he said. " I can tell you that the morale is much better."
Haner said we can all do our part to continue this trend. He encouraged people to get vaccinated, get their booster shots, wear masks, and follow COVID-19 protocol.
"We're going to celebrate what we have right now. We don't know what the future holds, but we'll deal with it when it comes," he said.