Coronavirus

NY Nurse Shares COVID-19 Insights After Volunteering in Houston

In late July, a group of doctors and nurses from New York traveled to Houston to help out. Anjanette Rosario, a registered nurse at North Shore University Hospital on Long Island, New York, was part of this group.

Anjanette Rosario and her colleagues administered coronavirus tests at Fallbrook Church and Higher Dimension Church in Houston.

While Houston's coronavirus cases have surged, cases in New York — one of the states hit hardest by COVID-19 — have dramatically dropped.

In late July, a group of doctors and nurses from New York traveled to Houston to help out. Anjanette Rosario, a registered nurse at North Shore University Hospital on Long Island, New York, was part of this group. She administered tests at one of two churches in Houston: Fallbrook Church and Higher Dimension Church, where New York state provided support and supplies for two weeks.

Read or listen to our interview with her below, edited for length and clarity.

In your experience, what seemed to be the gaps in education for some of the people that you were swabbing?

I don’t think they realize that being out in large groups, including family and friends, (is an issue). It’s not just going to the grocery store, that’s not the only area you have to worry about. When you’re home and you're living with five other people, you need to be diligent about making sure all high-touch areas are wiped down. They thought ‘oh it’s outside that’s dangerous. It’s not inside.' Well, if people are going in and out, then it's both.

Anjanette Rosario dressed in full personal protective equipment.

There are various efforts to reach the Latino community in Houston with educational resources on COVID-19. I understand you only interacted with a limited amount of people, but did it seem to be reaching them?

The people who were coming in were predominantly Hispanic. I just think there was a lack of knowledge in general in that population. I mean they were (at the testing site), so they had to have some kind of information... but I would imagine they’re underserved if they don’t have just the basics.

New York was once in our place. But the state has really been able to flatten the curve. What does that actually look like?

Oh, it’s completely different right now. Oh my god. It’s like normal now. We have one unit in the entire hospital that’s considered our COVID unit. That 42-bedded unit, maybe has 15 patients in it. You know we're in the less than 1% of people contracting COVID overall. We're in such a better place, such a better place. And a lot of those patients aren't even real positives, they’re just waiting there to make sure they’re negative before they have a procedure done.

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