Long lines seen at CHC's testing site in Middletown

EAST HARTFORD, CT (WFSBS) – Connecticut, like a lot of the country, is in the middle of a second wave of the coronavirus.

That's why it's putting out a call for helpers with a new initiative called "Step Up Connecticut."

During the first wave, Connecticut relied on professionals from other states. Now that the entire country is seeing a spike in COVID-19 cases, health officials said borrowing workers is no longer an option.

Testing is happening seven days a week at Rentschler Field in East Hartford. The lines extend hours and the work is never ending. Car after car, workers said they are getting tired and need help.

Drone 3 showed the lines around the street.

“We have now done 3 million tests. It took us five months to do the first million tests. It took us one month to do the last one million tests,” said Gov. Ned Lamont.

That milestone may have been reached on Monday; but for the workers on the ground, administering them is exhausting.

“Our volume of testing has tripled in the last several weeks,” said Yvette Highsmith-Francis, Community Health Center Regional Vice President.

Yvette Highsmith-Francis is the regional vice president at the Community Health Center. It has 15 testing locations throughout the state, and it needs help.

“Handing out registration forms, doing some basic data entry by registering folks in our computer system, then the clinical role of actually doing the nasal swab,” Highsmith-Francis said.

With the entire country fighting their own local coronavirus battles, the state recognized for the most part that it’s on its own for the second wave.

“We need people to be able to continue to do this,” Highsmith-Francis said.

As a result, Lamont rolled out "Step Up Connecticut."

“Look, you can binge watch Netflix for three weeks, but we have some other ways where you can really be of assistance, helping your entire community get through this pandemic,” Lamont said.

Lamont said there is a job for everyone, regardless of experience.

Greeters at testing sites are needed all the way to the medical professionals who administer the test. Over at the hospitals, the concerns are the same.

“Doctors and nurses, many doing a double shift, getting some exhaustion. Any healthcare experience at all, please go to Step Up Connecticut,” Lamont said.

The state also needs help at food banks. Delivery personnel are needed to bring food to the elderly and people at shelters.

When the state said it's an opportunity for anyone, it meant it. Volunteers don’t need any experience at all. They will get trained, and in some cases, get paid.

Anyone who's interested can head here.

Copyright 2019 WFSB (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.


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