Why a Michigan college student decided to volunteer at COVID-19 test site

‘I felt I needed to do something,’ Maddie Odom said

DETROIT – A college student in Michigan is giving back to the community in a big way during the coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis.

She’s volunteering without pay at one of the busiest COVID-19 testing sites -- the State Fairgrounds in Detroit.

April 28, 2020 -- Michigan coronavirus (COVID-19) cases up to 39,262; Death toll now at 3,567

On Tuesday morning Maddie Odom was hard at work, matching patients with their testing paperwork.

“There was some fear my first time coming here, but the email I got laid out the PPE I would get and all the measures they are taking to keep us safe,” Odom said.

Odom is a senior at Kalamazoo College. She enjoys playing lacrosse and soccer. She’s a biology major who decided she wanted to help during the pandemic.

“I have done a lot of different things. I’ve actually tested patients. I’ve pulled prescriptions for people, helped check people in -- kind of depends where I’m needed,” Odom said.

She said some of her more challenging days included seeing many senior citizens coming through the site.

“We have had some nonverbal patients and that is very scary. Having something pointed at your face when you are not sure what is going on. That was pretty difficult,” Odom said.

When it comes to handling her emotions she said her co-workers are amazing. She knows she should be here helping.

“I have experience in the medical field and I felt I needed to do something and was able to do something to help out,” Odom said.

She said her parents are worried for her but are supportive of her decision to volunteer. She said she would like to pursue a master’s degree in public health.

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