MISSION, Texas (KVEO) — Healthcare volunteers are using their spare time to make sure people know what to do after getting tested for COVID-19.
They are part of Operation COVID Shield. An initiative formed in Hidalgo county; run by volunteer healthcare workers to slow down the spread of COVID-19.
“A lot of people, unfortunately, were going to the testing sites, if they were positive, they would call them and tell them ‘you’re positive’ and that’s it. They didn’t tell them what to do or how to take care of themselves,” said Susana Johnson, a registered nurse volunteering at testing sites.
She explains some people who test positive think their diagnosis is a death sentence, and some do not isolate.
The Operation COVID Shield volunteers take surveys at testing sites, asking people if they have somewhere to isolate, and offer an informational packet on how to proceed after a diagnosis.
“This method of education and reaching out is ideal because you’ve got a captive audience, people who are concerned about their health, and have time to sit and wait to their results and are willing and open listen to a healthcare provider,” said Amy Ramirez, a nurse practitioner who coordinates over 200 volunteers and deploys them to testing sites in Hidalgo County.
Many of these volunteers are doing this work in their free time, on top of combating the virus in their hospitals, clinics, and practices where they work.
“They’re healthcare workers who see this firsthand and they know how important it is. They give their time every day and they still want to come out and give more because they see how serious this disease can be,” said Ramirez.
For information on what to do if you have gotten tested or suspect you have COVID-19, click here.
If you would like to apply to volunteer with COVID-19, click here.