Miami Hospital COVID Nurses Surprised with Island Vacation

Nurse Dolce Ortaliz Paredes, center, and respiratory therapist Andre Lopez, left, were among 50 healthcare workers at Jackson Health System opening large gift boxes containing a gift certificate for a two-night stay at Hawks Cay Resort on Duck Key in the Florida Keys, Tuesday, Nov. 10, 2020, in Miami. The workers, who were chosen by their supervisors for going above and beyond during the pandemic, were told that they were scheduled for mandatory training, but instead were greeted by a standing ovation and the gift certificates that were donated as part of Hawk's Cay Heroes Salute program. (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee)

MIAMI (AP) — Over a dozen Miami nurses and front line health care workers are finally getting a well-deserved break. The group was scheduled for an upcoming mandatory, aka boring, 48-hour training, but were instead surprised with an island vacation to the Florida Keys.

Respiratory therapist Andre Lopez, center, celebrates after learning he was one of 50 healthcare workers at Jackson Health System to receive a gift certificate for a two-night stay at Hawks Cay Resort on Duck Key in the Florida Keys, Tuesday, Nov. 10, 2020, in Miami.  (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee)

Jackson Health System supervisors were asked to choose staff that went above and beyond during the pandemic. Many of the staff, including respiratory therapists and lab techs, have not been able to take any time off during the pandemic to relax or spend time with their loved ones and have been working tirelessly during the pandemic treating COVID patients, the hospital said.

The 50 workers were told they had to attend a mandatory two-day, training, but when they gathered at the hospital Tuesday they were handed gift boxes with gift certificates.

Hawks Cay Resort in the Florida Keys donated two-night stays to their island on Duck Key, surrounded by sparkling waters and swaying palm trees as part of its Heroes Salute program.

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