Posted by John Reyes
As we all know, with the increasing number of COVID cases, there has been an ongoing and growing need for effective COVID testing. When individuals travel to local emergency rooms at hospitals, the demand helps overwhelm available capacity.
As a result, several hospitals in the area, including Summa and Akron Children’s, have been cooperating with the Ohio Department of Health, the Summit County Public Health Department and the Ohio National Guard to create a drive-thru testing center at Summa’s Gorge Blvd. headquarters. The project is funded by the Ohio Department of Health.
With very little notice, a plan was developed to go live with this testing process on Tuesday, December 28th.
Local health systems are strained by in-hospital response to COVID. To run this testing, volunteers, approximately 15 a day, are needed for the next couple of months to support about a dozen National Guard and Summit County Health Department clinicians.
The testing is done outdoors on a drive-thru basis with National Guard and Summit County Health Department staff handling the “close in” work on swabbing and interacting with those driving through.
Volunteers are needed to help with traffic control and test kit assembly among other things.
Information concerning this was transmitted to our Club by Past Club President Rob McGregor on December 23, 2021. Through the good efforts of Dr. McGregor and District Governor Nominee Julie Brandle, this request for assistance was quickly circulated throughout the Summit Cluster of Clubs.
My spouse, Linda, and I were able to register for and take part in the drive thru testing center on Thursday, December 30, 2021. Summa personnel handled the orientation training and direct supervision of the volunteers. We were blessed with volunteers from Leadership Akron, Summa itself, and other organizations.
Over 800 individuals are being served each day at this site. While none of us are ever likely to have front-line response duties as a healthcare worker or first responder, it was gratifying to be able to help in a small way with this ongoing project.