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Today’s coronavirus news: Ontario reporting 1,540 hospitalized with COVID-19, 402 in ICU; Police clear week-long trucker blockade in Windsor

The latest coronavirus news from Canada and around the world Sunday. This file will be updated throughout the day. Web links to longer stories if available.

10:19 a.m. Ontario is reporting 1,540 people are hospitalized with COVID-19, and 402 people in the ICU with COVID-19. There are 2,265 new cases of COVID-19 being reported.

The province is also reporting 22 deaths that occurred over the past 26 days. Of these, one death occurred on Feb. 12, six deaths occurred on Feb.11 and five deaths occurred on Feb. 10, with the remaining occurring in the preceding days.

9:30 a.m. With the pandemic entering its third year, many health-care workers are exhausted — facing long hours, limited breaks and staffing shortages.

For nurses, the work has been especially gruelling. “Nurses are the front line of everything,” said Eram Chhogala, an ER nurse in Toronto. “We’re the first face that you see when you come to the ER, the first person you interact with that will provide you with comfort.”

Some, like Chhogala herself, have even lost family members to COVID-19, but have continued to care for patients in spite of their own trauma. “I’ve lost my own dad to it, and it’s not easy to go into work sometimes,” she said.

Read more from the Star’s Nadine Yousif.

9:02 a.m. Police have cleared a week-long protest at the Ambassador Bridge that drew international attention and cost the Canadian economy millions, though the bridge remains closed to the public.

By 8:50 a.m. police had effectively cleared the roadway of all remaining protesters and were standing in a line across the road, the Star’s Jacob Lorinc reports. Some protesters were hanging around in an adjacent parking lot, but many got in their vehicles and left.

Follow the Star’s live file for updates.

8 a.m. During the pandemic, the promenade made a comeback.

Maybe you saw more couples walking through the park during lockdown and it reminded you of the romantic strolls in the Netflix drama “Bridgerton,” or a scene from a Jane Austen novel. The walk was a courtship staple in a time of strict social mores, a way to have private conversations, but still be visible, says Kate Frank, who is doing her PhD on women walking in 18th-century literature.

When she used to talk about her research — the idea of walking as social space — she’d get strange looks. Not anymore.

Read more from the Star’s Katie Daubs: How the pandemic gave these couples an outside chance at love

7 a.m. Ontario continues to see a decline in the number of COVID-19 patients in provincial hospitals and intensive care units.

The province says there were 1,704 people in hospital due to the virus on Saturday, of which 414 were in intensive care.

That’s down from the 1,829 hospitalizations and 435 ICU patients reported the day before.

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