Americorps team helped set up Shoreline Isolation and Recovery Center for patients

Tuesday, April 14, 2020

WCC volunteers and team leaders practice Physical Distancing
at the Shoreline Isolation and Recovery Center

From the Department of Ecology

When building hiking trails, planting native trees or shrubs, or responding to local or national disasters, Washington Conservation Corps (WCC) AmeriCorps members are used to practicing flexibility.

When field activities were temporarily suspended in mid-March to prevent further spread of the COVID-19 pandemic, AmeriCorps members adapted quickly, with some WCC members and staff supporting our state’s response to the coronavirus outreach by setting up shelters in King County

When responding to a natural disaster, WCC supervisors and members are often tasked with setting up and leading volunteer reception centers in affected areas. This experience came in handy last week when King County Emergency Management set up multiple sites for people to isolate and recover from COVID-19.

Supervisor Cynthia Saleh assembles a cot
Photo by Alex M'Bark

“Folks continued doing an impressive job of physical distancing, despite needing to collaborate together on almost every task,” she said.

Staff and members safely unloaded desks, shelving units, beds, footlockers, side tables, and chairs to support the shelters, serving alongside contractors and Team Rubicon volunteers.

AmeriCorps member Celia Thurman was interested in setting up shelters to help her local community.
“Shoreline is actually 10-15 minutes from where I grew up,” Celia said. “It felt like I was helping the community, and that means a lot to me. When we got there, the tents were set up on a soccer field. I grew up playing soccer on that field, and babysat in that neighborhood.”

AmeriCorps member Akiva Gebler talked about the impact of setting up medical facilities.

“In a time when the most people can do to help is to stay home, it was in many ways a privilege and an honor to be able to serve the county and local community by physically helping set up field hospitals,” Akiva said. “My hope is that our service will make it easier for the medical staff to safely and effectively do their jobs.”


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