Members of Endicott College’s staff have been volunteering to help conduct coronavirus tests in an effort to slow the spread of the virus on campus.
Once or twice a week, members will dedicate their time to help with testing-- with no extra pay. Volunteers consist of faculty, students, the athletic staff and other departments across campus.
There are about 40 volunteers in total, and the crew performs approximately 2,600 tests per week. Many helpers have been testing as far back as August.
“We have a very low positivity rate. Our students are doing a great job,” Assistant Athletic Director Mark Kulakowski said.
Prior to the academic year, Athletic Director Brian Wylie asked his athletic staff to help with testing.
Kulakowski took a leading role in the process, and helped connect other members of the staff to Endicott’s COVID-19 Coordinator, James Daley.
The two have been working tandemly together, and Kulakowski said there are about 30 students currently volunteering as well.
“It’s a good experience for the students to come and be safe here,” Kulakowski said. “Especially when you see some of the outbreaks at other schools.”
Tests have been performed at Endicott’s Post Center thus far. There are multiple tents set up next to the football field with a line of workers in each one.
Students who are being tested have their temperature taken prior to entering the tents. Testers then guide students through the testing process, and their tests go in a secured tube with their name on it.
Afterwards, students are required to use hand sanitizer and leave the tents through a back exit-- away from students entering the front of the tents.
Staff members have been wearing masks, social distancing, and using hand sanitizer to ensure a safe process for testers and students alike.
Conducting coronavirus tests doesn’t come without challenges, however. Harsh weather caused a testing closure this past Monday.
“Every day is a challenge but I think it’s met by the students and the faculty to create the best positive experience for everybody,” Kulakowski said.
Starting Monday, October 5, tests will be conducted at Endicott’s Interfaith Chapel. The Reimagine Task Force urges students to continue following campus safety guidelines.
“It’s in good hands. We’re doing our best in a trying time, if you will,” Kulakowski said.