Thanking Covid-19 Testing Site and Care Navigator Volunteers
Thursday, June 10, 2021

We are very pleased to report that due to the lower numbers of cases and wider availability of testing, the Los Angeles County COVID-19 Testing Site operated by Beach Cities Health District at 514 N. Prospect Ave. in Redondo Beach is closed as of June 13, 2021.

We will never forget how the community and beyond came together to help get to where we are today. It is only through the collective efforts of everyone involved in many different roles and much bravery and dedication. 

Since June 2020, 71 different volunteers supported the COVID-19 testing site. These volunteers included community members and nursing students from Harbor College and Mount St. Mary University. Collectively, these volunteers donated more than 3,000 hours to the site.

Additionally, each person who got a positive test result at the BCHD COVID-19 test site received a follow-up call from a volunteer. These calls were vital to check that each person had received their results, ensure they were managing their symptoms at home, and getting the proper support services and medical attention they needed. Added to this, to help curb the spread of the virus, these calls were very important in ensuring people understood the isolation protocol and that they needed to inform anyone they’d been in close contact with. 

Early on in the pandemic, these calls were made by nurses from Providence Little Company of Mary, but as they were needed to return to hospital duties, BCHD volunteers stepped in. 17 COVID-19 Care Navigator volunteers with medical or contact tracing experience made calls - both locally and from different states.  Collectively, they donated more than 950 hours of their time making calls to those who tested positive for COVID-19 at our testing site since May 2020. In total, they made over 7,300 of these calls!

At BCHD, we know that volunteering is even more than being helpful to othersit’s good for one’s own health and can create a circle of gratitude. It has been wonderful hearing from volunteers about the gratification they’ve experienced through service this past year. Here are some statements about what volunteering in these roles has meant to the volunteers:

“This program has been one of the most rewarding things I have ever done." Mary Drummer (spotlight August 2020)

“It felt really good to do a tiny thing like make a phone call and reach out to people who were often just as confused and scared as me. I am happy that the program is able to shut down. That is what we've all been hoping for and working toward.” Jana Park

“It was great to return to the BCHD after ~30 years between South Bay Medical Reserve Corps (during the 2009 H1N1 Pandemic), catch up with old friends and meet new, while we support our patient base.  Thanks to everyone as we traverse this latest Pandemic and future recovery.” Karen Galati, Pharm.D.

“Before I took on the role of COVID-19 Care Navigator, I was getting scared and very upset by what I was reading in the news and on social media. I was often angry and losing faith in many of my neighbors, family, and friends who I felt weren't taking proper COVID-19 precautions. At first, I was a bit hesitant to agree to make calls to COVID-19 positive people. I was worried I might get emotional and cry while talking with them or get upset if they were knowingly continuing to expose others. Thankfully, my experience has been very positive. I've been impressed by how many people answered my call or called back once they got my message. Most people I called were taking their diagnosis very seriously and were taking precautions to protect others. Several people asked me questions like, "But how can I be certain that I'm no longer contagious to others?" And "How do I donate convalescent plasma so that I can help others?" Most people I called were so kind to me and thankful to have someone checking in on them. People thanked me as I thanked them and offered me well wishes and blessings." 

"The calls weren't always easy. I talked to several people with family members currently in the hospital and one woman I called answered her phone from the hospital while receiving treatment for Covid-19. But making these calls helped turn my mental health around, gave me hope and much more personal peace. I feel like making these calls warmed and healed my heart. People really seemed to care about their community."

"I'm so grateful to BCHD for this experience. Jacqueline and now Nicole always promptly answer my questions and make me feel supported. When I emailed Nicole that I was still worried about someone I had called, she made sure to follow-up and check on her for me the next day. I was able to relax knowing she was cared for.” Julie C Henderson

“I met several BCHD employees from Adventure Plex while volunteering at the testing site. I was impressed by how well they worked together to make working at the site pleasant and efficient.” – Howard Darvey

"I'm happy to do my little part to help people get tested (and vaccinated) so we can get through this pandemic as soon as possible! I enjoy getting people checked in and out quickly and efficiently." -Brad Angle

 “When the pandemic shut everything down, I felt the need to get out to meet people and be more involved in helping others. I really enjoy working with everyone on the team and knowing that I am doing something constructive during these difficult times; it’s so important for us all to maintain a positive state of mind and volunteering for BCHD has been a great way to do that.” John Brayton (Spotlight October 2020)

Thank you again to ALL of the volunteers who helped us with this successful operation!!!