SARASOTA, Fla. - Over the last year and a half, the staff of Doctors Hospital of Sarasota has experienced just about every emotion you can imagine. For the first time, they are breathing a sigh of relief.
"It's the opportunity that we see for the first time that things are really getting better," said Dr. Todd Haner, the chief nursing officer at the hospital.
In February of 2020, Doctors Hospital was the first in the state to diagnose and treat a COVID-positive patient.
"When this first started and we got the first patient, we didn’t know what to expect, so as we moved forward and we saw what was happening, it became very stressful," Dr. Haner recalled.
Hundreds of COVID-19 patients would come through their doors.
Some would recover. Others would not. Treatments would change and the vaccine would bring hope.
"It's the fruit of the labor at this point that we are seeing things get better," Haner continued.
Thursday afternoon, their last COVID-19 patient was released. As of now, they remain COVID-patient-free.
But they're prepared, knowing that could change at any time.
"If we do have another surge, we will be ready," Haner added. "We’ve learned a lot over the last year and a half. We are going to celebrate what we have right now. We don’t know what the future holds, but we will deal with it when it comes."