Most of the first responders were trained and educated at one of the many local colleges, they have been essential institutions throughout the history of America but have proven again how essential they are during the time a crisis. Colleges’ responses to COVID 19 in New Jersey have shown how much society relies on these institutions. Many colleges have united in their fight of COVID 19 in various ways, from donating PPE to donating laptops to providing space for drive-thru testing sites.
Middlesex County College
As classes were transitioned to an online delivery method the nursing program at Middlesex County College had to postpone their simulation labs. With labs on hold, the college saw that they had thousands of personal protective equipment not being used for instructional purposes at this time and they chose to gather and donate it to local hospitals that are in dire need of it as they fight COVID 19. The dental hygiene program also collected and donated all the PPE they had for their program to the Middlesex County Office of Emergency Management.
Hudson County Community College
As the novel coronavirus continues to spread across New Jersey testing the capacities of the healthcare system, Hudson County Community College stepped up to help ensure the safety of frontline healthcare workers by donating PPE. As the pandemic swept across the globe PPE has quickly become depleted and in short supply, faculty at Hudson collected 300 isolation gowns, 45 boxes of gloves, 175 face masks, and 60 N95 masks. These were all gathered from the nursing and health sciences programs to donate to the Hudson County Office of Emergency Management.
Camden County College
As COVID 19 spread quickly across New Jersey schools closed and testing sites went up. As Camden County College has transitioned to an online delivery method for the remainder of Spring and summer terms campus parking lots were replaced with testing sites. The county of Camden has used this space to operate a drive-thru testing site for residents of the county.
Bergen Community College
Bergen Community College offered space to become the first drive-thru testing site in New Jersey. With its prime location, thousands of residents can easily access the test.
Bergen has also organized a PPE donation and collection drive. The drive gathered thousands of pieces of personal protective equipment to help during this time when there is a severe supply shortage, especially in New Jersey.
The PPE drive was held as a drive-thru to ensure safety and social distancing standards were kept.
With a stay at home orders in place, all colleges and universities have had to transition to an online delivery method to allow students to continue their education remotely. The Department of Nursing and Public Health Programs at Caldwell University has had to postpone their labs, allowing for the PPE to be donated to healthcare systems that are in dire need of it at this time. The department of nursing has continued to organize donation drives and gather PPE to donate to Morristown Medical Center.
Mercer County College
Professors at Mercer County College have designed and produces face shields utilizing the colleges’ 3-D printers. The need for personal protective equipment is increasing as the supply shortage deepened across the country. Innovative and hard-working individuals like those at Mercer are making a difference by creating PPE. They have been able to manufacture 75 a week, at this time hundreds have been produced and donated. All of the face masks have been donated to the Mercer County Office of Emergency Management. As students have transitioned to an online delivery method to continue their education it became very clear that not every student had access to a computer or laptop to allow them to continue with their education. Mercer has made laptops available for financially disadvantaged students to help alleviate this problem. To this point, 200 laptops have been distributed to students in need.
Raritan Valley Community College
Raritan Valley Community College has joined forces to create much-needed PPE for first responders and healthcare workers on the frontlines.
Utilizing 3-D printers on-campus faculty has been able to produce up to 60 face shields per day. These are being donated to Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital New Brunswick and Somerset.
County College of Morris
Fashion Design students of County College of Morris have chosen to help healthcare workers and other workers with their skills at the sewing machine.
As faculty and students had to quickly adapt to online learning and varying methods of hands-on experiences they moved to design, sewing, and donating face masks to those who need them.
First, they donated to healthcare workers and then other essential workers to help keep them safe during this time.
Salem Community College
The South Jersey Robotics program at Salem Community College is utilizing the 3-D printers on campus to produce masks for frontline healthcare workers and first responders. Currently, they have access to 9 printers. Students have collaborated remotely to modify the design to create a mask that they have produced hundreds of and donated to multiple hospitals in the area.
Colleges continue to be an essential thread of American society as institutions for learning, training, and now mobilizing for necessary PPE. Colleges’ responses to COVID 19 in New Jersey have proven how much society depends on these institutions. They have all gathered and mobilized to protect the healthcare professionals and the communities in which they are a part during the crisis of COVID 19.
Do you know of any other amazing college responses to COVID-19? Let us know so we can recognize them and add them to our list!