As the pandemic of COVID 19 continues to spread and every community has been affected in multiple ways, community colleges have adapted and stepped up in surprising ways to aid their local communities. Colleges’ responses to COVID 19 in Nebraska have shown how important these institutions for higher learning are to their local communities. They are not only providing education to those within their communities but also stepping up and providing personal protective equipment for local healthcare personnel and first responders that are caring for patients of COVID 19.
As institutions for higher learning closed their doors to in-person learning for spring and summer terms many found ways they could still help their communities at this time. Metropolitan Community College has utilized its 3-D printers to make personal protective equipment to donate to local hospitals and healthcare facilities. The face shield they make can be reused after being sanitized between uses.
Metropolitan has also gathered all the PPE on campus that is generally used in labs and has donated that as well at this time to help alleviate the shortage.
With no college students attending labs on campus, many surgical gloves and masks are available to be used elsewhere, where the demand is much greater than on an empty campus. Nebraska Wesleyan University has gathered and donated the remaining caches they have of personal protective equipment and cleaning products to the state to distribute to healthcare systems as it is needed.
With the current supply shortage as healthcare facilities are fighting COVID 19 and trying to keep healthcare workers safe from infection communities have stepped up to help at this time. With campuses closed and biology labs empty Southeast Community College has chosen to gather and donate their unused personal protective equipment and cleaning supplies to local hospitals and healthcare facilities to keep frontline workers safe during this crisis.
A service project by four Creighton University nursing students and their faculty advisor to seek donations of cloth face coverings for fellow students has received an overwhelming response from classmates, their families and friends. Creighton enrolls nursing students from all over the country on its three campuses, including the home campus in Omaha, a central Nebraska campus, and a health sciences campus in Phoenix.
The students in the accelerated Nursing Program at Creighton’s Phoenix campus originally hoped to get 120 face coverings donated. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends the use of cloth face coverings to slow the spread of COVID-19. The students ended up getting more than 350. The project gained so much support that cloth face coverings came in from all parts of the country as word spread. Now, students from incoming cohorts of the nursing program will receive face coverings as well.
The idea for a face covering drive came from Nursing Program Administrative Assistant Michelle Moreno, who shared it with faculty member Patty Timmons, faculty advisor to the Student Senate. From there, Timmons proposed the project to students.
Colleges’ responses to COVID 19 in Nebraska have proven the essential role they play in communities in which they are apart. These institutions have provided courses for students to ensure their well-being during uncertain times, they have selflessly donated thousands of items of PPE and ventilators. Communities have benefitted greatly from the role of these unique and affordable institutions play.
Do you know of any other amazing college responses to COVID-19? Let us know so we can recognize them and add them to our list!