This time next week, Anna Slayton will be headed home to her husband and children in Midlothian after working 11 weeks on the front lines of the fight against COVID-19 in New York City.
As she does, those crossing her path to travel from Texas to New York will arrive to face a two-week quarantine.
It’s a stark contrast to the crisis Slayton arrived to in mid-April, one of the thousands of doctors and nurses who flooded the city to assist in overburdened hospitals and care facilities.
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“Everyone was very scared. The people here were scared,” said Slayton.
As spring turned to summer, she watched as the cases began to decline. Though the senior care facility Slayton’s logged up to 84 hours a week in still has its own COVID unit, she said more patients have returned to regular care.
She fears another wave in New York City, but she’s also preparing to head back to Texas where one out of 10 people tested for the virus were positive over the last week.
“I was called to come to the epicenter where this was, because I knew I had the skills and the ability to help. As this place has healed, I’m just heading home where there’s more work to be done. And I’m ready. I’m ok with that. I’m less intimidated,” said Slayton.
The job she’d left behind in North Texas is now the one searching for extra help as the facility deals with huge case counts.
For Texas to avoid becoming the next New York, Slayton said hospitals need to make sure they have a strong nurse to patient ratio.
She’s also warning loved ones to take precautions to prevent the spread of the virus and encouraging everyone to take care of themselves and do what they can to boost their immune systems.
One’s she’s had time to rest, Slayton said she’ll search for the next place where she can do the most good.
*Map locations are approximate, central locations for the city and are not meant to indicate where actual infected people live.
**County totals below include all 32 North Texas counties, not just Collin, Dallas, Denton and Tarrant.