K-College Senior Volunteers In COVID-19 Epicenter | WMUK

K-College Senior Volunteers In COVID-19 Epicenter

Apr 14, 2020

Maddie Odom in PPE gear at the Detroit COVID-19 test site
Credit Maddie Odom / Kalamazoo College

Southeast Michigan has been the epicenter of the COVID-19 pandemic. A senior at Kalamazoo College is on the front lines.

Maddie Odom is a licensed EMT who's volunteering at a coronavirus test site in Detroit. She's there for two weeks for up to nine hours a day.

"It's been actually pretty busy, which is nice to kind of stay active and help out throughout the day. I'll be doing anything from actually doing the test to helping print out prescriptions and check to make sure that people are getting the correct test."

Odom says the number of people coming to the former MIchigan State Fairgrounds varies from day to day. But it's usually pretty full.

"This past weekend with the holiday and everything it was a bit slower. But we were averaging around 800 a day last week."

The test center is run by the Coronavirus Community Care Network, a coalition of local government agencies and health care providers. Odom says it serves people from a wide area in southeastern Michigan.

"We're seeing people from all over, actually, from the three counties in the surrounding area. So, we see a really diverse group of people: lots of different ages, lots of different backgrounds. It's pretty diverse, I would say."

Odom says volunteering at the center for up to nine hours a day can be pretty taxing.

"It can be exhausting some days but we kind of try and keep each other's energy up and know that we're there for the right reasons. So that makes it a little bit easier."

Odom, who graduates from Kalamazoo College in June, says she plans to pursue a career as a physician's assistant.