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Utah college students honored for volunteer work during pandemic

Posted at 1:50 PM, Dec 09, 2020
and last updated 2020-12-09 15:50:11-05

SALT LAKE CITY — Volunteers have played a major role in helping Utah get through the coronavirus pandemic.

On Wednesday, the Salt Lake County Health Department recognized over 100 volunteers for their more than 15,000 hours of service.

Since March, volunteers have assisted with setting up drive-thru testing sites, taking patient information and providing medical support.

READ: Drive-thru flu shot clinic underway at Maverik Center parking lot

The health department says it wouldn’t have been possible to provide as many tests without the help of volunteers.

Many of the volunteers are students from the University of Utah, Westminster College and Weber State University. They along with students at Draper’s Ameritech College of Healthcare are completing their capstone hours through the Salt Lake County Medical Reserve Corps.

“Many of the students helped shape the protocols and procedures that we still follow today,” said Jill Dubbellman, Ameritech capstone instructor and MRC lead. “Many of the students spend extra time trying to come up with ideas that would help improve the process and help the employees out.”

READ: A week after pickup plowed through it, U of U drive-thru COVID-19 testing site reopens

Volunteer and student Seth Christensen says being a part of the team and getting to learn and practice his skills is an amazing opportunity.

“We knew we were in a once-in-a-lifetime situation here,” Christensen said. “And all we nursing students ever wanted to do was help in any way we could.”

At Wednesday’s conference, several awards were given out including the Presidential Volunteer Service Award and the Lt. Governor’s Volunteer Recognition Certificate.

The health department says it is so grateful for the service of all the volunteers and wanted to make sure they got the recognition they deserve.