Volunteers Needed to Assist in COVID-19 Testing After Spring Break
Once again the MTU Flex Task Force is looking for volunteers to act as "runners" during baseline COVID-19 testing as students return to campus from Spring Break. Michigan Tech's Spring Break begins with the end of classes today (March 5). Classes will resume on Monday, March 15.
Brian Cadwell, director and chief of the Department of Public Safety and Police Services, said high volume baseline testing will begin on Friday, March 19 and go through Tuesday, March 23. The testing will take place in the Wood Gym of the Student Development Complex (SDC).
Cadwell said COVID-19 testing requires two people ... a swabber and a runner. "The swabber applies the nasal swab to obtain a specimen. The runner stands nearby and holds a plastic bag in which the sample is placed. The runner then seals the plastic bag and places it in a cooler," Cadwell said
As was the case when increased baseline testing took place at the beginning of the spring semester, there are plenty of swabbers — mostly medical personnel.
However, Cadwell said there is a real need for runners. "To make things run smoothly, there needs to be both runners and swabbers. Without runners, the work of the swabbers is doubled and we can't produce the volume of testing needed to ensure a safe return to campus." According to Cadwell, a full staff of volunteers can perform between 50 to 60 tests an hour.
Cadwell said a runner's task is simple but is made a more challenging because it requires full PPE. "Runners must wear a gown, gloves, face shield, N95 mask and a hair cover," he said.
Testing will take place from 4 to 10 p.m. on March 19, 22 and 23, and from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday, March 20/21.
The schedule is broken into one-hour increments, with volunteers able to choose the shift length that best suits their schedule. "Once again, this is a great service opportunity for the Greek community and all student organizations and well as individual students, faculty and staff who want to help out.
Those interested in requesting more information or signing up to volunteer can contact Cadwell at firstname.lastname@example.org.