Not surprisingly, running a COVID-19 testing site is a huge responsibility. In Walmart terms, Jennifer is the de facto store manager of the site. In her terms, she’s the “mother hen.” Her duties include everything from overseeing the day-to-day management of the site and coordinating with lab partners, volunteers, law enforcement, National Guard and pharmacists to help keep everyone safe and confirm standard operating procedures are followed for quality testing. Moreover, she serves as the chief motivator and caretaker for the volunteers and staff onsite; this often means reminding them to drink water and making sure they’re fed. By the end of the day, she’s exhausted but fulfilled to be able to help in this way.
The collection process is a self-swab observed by a trained medical professional, often a Walmart pharmacist, and takes about four minutes. Even while wearing full PPE, pharmacists strive to be a calming presence for those being tested as they instruct them how to self-administer the test in their car.
The Shreveport area's response has been overwhelmingly positive. Jennifer describes the community as being “amazing and thankful” for the site. The site wouldn’t be possible without all of the key parts — the community, local and state government, the volunteers and the pharmacists — supporting and doing their part.
“Everybody works as a team and is there for one purpose,” said Jennifer. “Everybody’s heart is in the right place and is there 100 percent to do the right thing.” She plans to make a scrapbook for those working at the site so they can remember this extraordinary experience during an unprecedented time.