Webb City resident travels to New York City to help fight against COVID-19

Peter Edwards will be in New York City for a month.

Peter Edwards is an Operations Manager for Environmental Services at Freeman Health System in Joplin. However, right now, he’s in New York City in the middle of the fight against the spread of COVID-19.

“It didn’t set in until the plan tickets were purchased, and then it really hit home,” Edwards says, “I could feel it inside my soul. I was being pulled. I was definitely being tugged in a direction. 

Edwards is working at Mount Sinai Hospital, helping teach employees how to properly decontaminate rooms following a stay from a patient with COVID-19.

He knew early on he wanted to be a leader in the fight against the pandemic. 

“He came in day one, before we even had a case and said ‘Hey I want to be the guy on the front lines, I want to be the one training our staff on how to do it here so everyone is safe,'” says Matthew Foley, Director of Environmental Services at Freeman Health System.

“I’ve always wanted to make sure…our people were protected. So with me to ensure they were protected, I would do it first. I would make sure that the process was correct within myself, so I could train and help the others.” 

That process for cleaning a room after a COVID-19 patient is very detailed.

“We use UVC technology to disinfect it,” Foley adds of the process, “Then we come in and we terminal clean the room, which is washing walls, ceilings, beds and medical equipment top to bottom and sterilizing the entire room.”

“We don’t leave anything undone from the ceilings to the floors,” Edwards adds. 

While Edwards is a long way from his home and his family, he knew he could help, and he could not pass that up. 

“They’re very proud. They’re very understanding,” he says of his family back home, “They know what kind of person I am, and they know that weren’t going to be able to tell me no.”

Edwards will spend a month in New York City. He will have to be quarantined for 14 days when he returns in May.

He is contracted to work at Freeman through the company Crothall. Fellow Crothall employee Jimmy Burgess will be joining Edwards in New York City in the coming days.