All of our essential workers deserve the utmost respect and honor right now for continuing to fight day after day, week after week, on the frontlines of the coronavirus pandemic. Of course, that includes everyone from truck drivers, farmers and grocery store employees to healthcare professionals and first responders.

This year's National Nurses Day on May 6 took a deeper meaning, and people all across central New York did what they could to thank them for their undying dedication. The Onondaga County Sherrif's Office took a heartfelt approach... quite literally.

Sherrifs in ten police cars drove to the top of a parking garage near Upstate University Hospital in Syracuse, parked their cars in the shape of a heart and turned on their lights as a way to show their appreciation. A sign in the background reads #UpstateStrong.

Throughout the fight against coronavirus, three groups of Upstate nurses have traveled to Stony Brook University Hospital on Long Island to help treat coronavirus patients in one of the country's hardest-hit areas.

Upstate's Chief Nursing Officer Nancy Page said the groups have included 46 registered nurses, two respiratory therapists, three pharmacists and five pharmacy technicians, a total of 56 healthcare workers. Page said that while these nurses are not only providing much-needed help and relief to downstate nurses, they are also learning valuable skills to treat upstate coronavirus patients when they return.

"Certainly we appreciate every piece of knowledge they've gained," Page said. "As our COVID numbers increase or as we deal with this over time, I just think what they've learned will be incredibly beneficial for our patients here."

We continue to thank our healthcare heroes for their hard work during this difficult time, and thank you to the Onondaga County Sheriff's Office for a beautiful tribute.

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