Local nurse practitioners head to NYC for COVID-19 response

Posted on March 23, 2020 by Romi White

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has been issuing regular press conferences related to his state’s escalating rate of COVID-19 cases, and two local nurse practitioners are heading to NYC to help out.

The city has more than 20,000 cases of the virus and needs help with medical workers and supplies. By comparison, the entire state of Florida has 1,171 cases.

Florida Senator Doug Broxson this morning told South Santa Rosa News that it’s believed that some South Florida cases resulted from flights coming from NYC following Cuomo’s executive order to shelter in place. 

To date in Florida, nearly half of all COVID-19 confirmed cases are in Broward and Dade Counties with nearly two dozen positive cases in non-residents and more than 500 cases in Florida residents.

And while most Americans are avoiding hot zones, Navarre resident Lisa DellaRatta and Fort Walton Beach resident Angela Meadows, both nurse practitioners, will be flying into New York City to fulfill a 21-day contract with a medical services company.

The duo will be working with other contracted physician’s assistants and registered nurses in 12-hour shifts.

“We are all staying at the New Yorker Hotel,” DellaRatta said, noting they were informed they will be working at three possible sites – a hospital, testing site or field hospital. It’s unknown yet exactly where they will be.

But DellaRatta isn’t showing fear. “I know the precautions to take. I just want to go and help. They are overwhelmed,” she said, noting she has worked in ER and trauma and served during Hurricanes Ivan and Katrina.

“That’s why we went into the nursing field. It’s just kind of second nature,” she said.