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Volunteers to aid COVID testing needed

By The Examiner staff

The city of Independence and the Medical Reserve Corps of Kansas City are asking for additional volunteers throughout the metro area to assist with COVID-19 testing and related tasks.

For Independence, volunteers are needed for testing sites at Mill Creek Park on Mondays, Independence Athletic Complex on Tuesdays, Cable-Dahmer Arena on Wednesdays, Santa Fe Park of Thursdays and Adventure Oasis Water Park on Fridays. All times are 2 to 7 p.m., except for 2 to 8 p.m. at Adventure Oasis. Testing also takes place 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Sundays at various churches by invitation only. Shifts can be broken up if individuals cannot stay the full time, and onsite training is provided to volunteers and does not take long.

Current needs for Independence saliva COVID testing sites include:

• Two people to mobilize/help set-up one hour prior to start – place cones, set up signs, check in volunteers

• One or two people to check in people as they pull in, verify appointments, hand them the kit and direct them to a parking spot

• Two people to help register those who can't use a smartphone. These people will be in full personal protective equipment.

• 1 person to receive the completed kit and place in a box for pick-up

• 2 people to demobilize for the hour after the event closes, to ensure everything is put away and ready for the next day

Repeat volunteers who can come for a few hours weekly are extremely helpful, though one-time volunteers are needed, too, the city says, as even one shift frees up a regular volunteer or staff member to help reduce the burnout from months of work.

The Medical Reserve Corps of Kansas City has served in Independence, Kansas City and around Jackson, Clay, Platte and Wyandotte counties. Further training may be required for some of the roles this group takes on, and a medical background is helpful.

In addition to testing sites around the metro area, the MRCKC has also assisted the Mid-America Regional Council with helping day-care centers and dialysis centers for the nine counties. MRCKC has provided nurses to staff a homeless shelter, long-term care facility, also contact tracing, symptom call back, wellness checks, thousands of tests for COVID-19, traffic, screening and other tasks.

Those interested in volunteering can go to www.indep.us/covidvolunteerap and complete a questionnaire. The application works for both Independence and MRCKC volunteering.