Coincidentally, Anthony Heron is also at Sisters of Charity that day, visiting with the surgeon who is scheduled to operate on him the next day. Heron has been diagnosed with lung cancer. The situation in the emergency room draws his attention however, and he takes charge of the situation outside the locked down ER.
Before long, there are three zombies in the ER, as a security guard, attempting to subdue Karl, is himself overrun and partially eaten. The ER chief, Abby, Ventura, and three others barricade themselves inside one of the exam rooms. One of their number is bitten and they all know what her fate will be. When the zombies break through, the chief uses their bitten companion as bait and winds up trapping herself inside while the other four escape. Her success, however, effectively traps the zombies in the room and the police are able to come in and dispatch them.
Dr. Denise Luco arrives on scene to begin gathering samples and run tests. She has been researching the zombie infection ever since discovering it in Johan Stemmy a week before. The mayor authorizes Captain Lance Naughton of the NYPD to assemble a Zombie Task Force at the head of which he puts Detective Heron. Heron names Francis Culph as his second in command. Naughton makes a statement to the press and chaos ensues.
IT took three weeks for the city to normalize once the story behind the incidents at the Sisters of Charity emergency room broke. The initial reaction was one of disbelief, but then pictures were released. Someone in the ER had used a camera phone and snapped a couple of shots of Karl. These were posted on the internet and people began to grow frightened. Canned goods and bottled water began disappearing off of store shelves. The mayor issued a mandate limiting the purchase of such goods. Looting became a problem. Store owners hired private security people to guard their wares and half of the security people wound up stealing from them as time wore on.