PUSD testing center searches for student volunteers


Zaynah Shah

Inviting an inevitable chain of cars, Hart Middle School opens its back parking lot to testing tents for drive-in rapid antigen testing.

Zaynah Shah, AVT Page Editor

With COVID-19 cases on the rise since the return from break due to Omicron, the PUSD testing center has been reaching out for volunteers of capable ages to help manage the drive-in testing site.

“We are in need of volunteers to help expedite operations at our Drive Thru Testing site. There is a heightened need for testing in our area to ensure students and staff are able to stay and return to school,” said PUSD Communications Coordinator Patrick Gannon in an email.

Shifts are two hours each and are currently available through Jan. 31. Those interested in volunteering can use the sign-up sheet in Q-Communication sent to students on Jan. 14.

“Completed volunteer shifts will count towards 20-hour community service requirements. Sign up for any and all you’re able to as every little bit helps,” said Gannon.

Despite only receiving students and staff with symptoms or an invitation being able to test, the lines are still extremely long and the few working hands don’t help to speed up the process.

“The testing line wrapped around multiple corners and almost into the main street. There were easily over fifty to seventy cars in line. I think with the lack of volunteers, they couldn’t really deal with the influx of people who need tests,” said Brandon Huynh (‘24)

While on the job, participants help to increase the overall efficiency of the testing lines and allow the trained pandemic techs to collect tests faster. More volunteers present allows for more tests to be administered.

“Volunteers help with directing traffic flow which helps reduce wait times. They also assist with cars exiting safely. If we don’t have enough volunteers, then those who are trained to test end up directing traffic and that slows down the line,” said Pandemic Tech Robin Cruz.