Tallahassee nurse returns from NY after being on front lines of COVID-19 pandemic

Published: May. 29, 2020 at 9:03 PM EDT
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By: Elizabeth Millner | WCTV Eyewitness News

May 29, 2020

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) -- A Tallahassee nurse is sharing his experience being on the front lines of the coronavirus pandemic in the nation’s epicenter, New York City.

Zachary Woods answered the call after Governor Andrew Cuomo of New York requested more nursing staff and healthcare workers to the area.

Woods worked in the emergency room in NYC from April 3 until May 12.

He says he was initially called there for 21 days but extended his time three more weeks in order to help the patients and assist on the front lines.

Woods says his contract states the nurses had to work for 21 days with 12 hour shifts.

He tells WCTV on the first day at the hospital he was assigned to, there were over 100 patients residing in one hospital wing.

He adds most of the patients they saw were not identified because of lack of staff.

Woods says most of the patients he saw were elderly and that over half of them were hooked to ventilators.

Woods wants to remind everyone that the coronavirus is very real and it could affect anyone of any age.

“In the emergency room in a major city as New York did see not only those in the older population, but there were 30-year-olds who actually passed away, there were kids who actually came who had the virus as well,” he said.

Woods said he was tested for COVID-19 before he left the hospital he was assigned to and once he arrived back to Tallahassee.

His results came back negative, but some of the staff in the hospital did lose their lives to the virus.

Woods adds he was glad to help on the front lines, and since the patients were unable to be with their family members the nurses played a role in advocating for the patients and providing reassurance.

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