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Coronavirus

Last day of Eisenhower Health’s COVID-19 drive through testing site

Over the past 15 months, Eisenhower Health has administered over 45,000 coronavirus tests through their drive-through site. June 30 is the last day of their COVID-19 drive-through testing site.

Eisenhower Health says it closes the test site because COVID-19 isn't as prevalent in the community as before.

"Some of our memories are going to be when it's 122 out there and facing the sun, and knowing we still had 200 more patients to swab that day," said Eisenhower Health's chief administrative officer of health care clinics, Carl Enzor.

The team at the drive-through site was made up of volunteers from Eisenhower Health. They worked through the summer heat and inclement weather while wearing multiple layers of personal protection equipment.

"Knowing each of those in their car was afraid. They had symptoms, and they were afraid, and we as a group knew we needed to rise to that occasion," said Enzor.

Bigger tents and air conditioning had to be brought in.

"It was tough. There were days that you just didn't want to be out there, but you had a line of cars, and all you could do was push forward, and you knew you were here to do something for the community," said Eisenhower Health LVN, Christian Bautista.

When things got hard, the team members would lean on each other for support.

"I think we had a great team and I think that's what made us get through these last 15 months the way we did," said Bautista.

Some team members spent time today to reflect on their experience and celebrate their efforts.

"It just brought out a whole other level of compassion towards these patients seeing them at their most vulnerable," said Eisenhower Health LVN, Karen Melendez.

Now team members who worked the drive-through testing site can re-direct their efforts.

"The staff who have volunteered here are now returning to other clinics where they have worked or going on to new experiences and new clinics where they've not worked before," said Enzor.

Many of the team members say they feel grateful for the experience.

"I think in my heart, I knew we were doing something good, and we were doing something that we knew not everybody was willing to do," said Bautista. "So it just felt good to be out there, and know that once that patient left here, you could provide some sort of comfort."

Starting July 1, Eisenhower Urgent Care locations across the valley will take on Eisenhower Health's pre-procedure testing, and symptomatic Eisenhower Health patients and employees requiring testing.

You can go here for more information on how to get tested or for vaccine information.

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Marian Bouchot

Marian Bouchot is the weekend morning anchor and a reporter for KESQ News Channel 3. Learn more about Marian here.

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