Students who test positive for COVID-19 or have to isolate or quarantine will be assigned a care coordinator to help them in their process, but ACU is asking for more volunteers.
Care coordinators help students and give them support while in isolation or quarantine. Some coordinators will give them home-cooked meals or items that they need during their quarantine. They are volunteers of faculty and staff that want to help students feel comfortable during their isolation or quarantine.
“Care coordinators get them food, or teach them how to stay isolated and check up on them,” said Lyndi Felan, assistant director of student advocacy. “They are extensions of SOAR.”
SOAR will call each student who tests positive for coronavirus and will ask them what their needs are. They will then assign them a care coordinator to help them along the journey of isolation or quarantine. When the pandemic was starting and students were coming back, they came up with the idea for care coordinators.
“The COVID care for students has had fallen under the umbrella of SOAR,” said Felan, “Our leadership and administration had the idea of care coordinators and I just ran with it.”
Care coordinators have helped students greatly with support during their time of isolation and quarantine. They have also taken over the work load for SOAR when needed. SOAR is in charge of helping students with the coronavirus response, care coordinators are there to help when SOAR cannot.
“It has been my saving grace,” said Felan, “The students who test positive or are in isolation fall under SOAR, and we don’t have the capacity to take care of all of them, care coordinators help care in such a meaningful way. Underclassmen have especially appreciated the help since they are still figuring out college.”
Residential Life has also been benefiting from care coordinators. While they help the coronavirus response on campus with finding housing for students who need to isolate or quarantine on campus, there are limitations.
“Res life staff can’t be care coordinators, however we are all in roles to support our students in need of care,” said Lauren Carrizal, housing coordinator for Res Life. “Our response has been smooth but having more can make it more smooth especially with care coordinators that are invested in the students.”
Care coordinators help in ways that Res Life and SOAR cannot. There were 85 coordinators last year and SOAR have lost some coordinators due to work and class loads. SOAR is looking for more volunteers and has sent out an email to faculty and staff that would like to volunteer.