Many of the first responders and nursing professionals of Idaho have been trained and educated at one of the local community 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 Idaho have shown how much society relies on these institutions. It is these same institutions that have donated time, materials, and financially to their communities. From faculty to students everyone has stepped up to help fight during this global crisis.
The College of Southern Idaho
With Healthcare agencies in dire need of personal protective equipment, The College of Southern Idaho felt this was the time to step up and donate whatever PPE they could gather from around campus. With nursing programs and biology programs, PPE is used in labs and for instructional purposes, but with class moved to a virtual format they were no longer needed at this time. Faculty and staff gathered gloves, masks, isolation gowns, goggles, sanitizer, and wipes and donated them directly to first responders and healthcare workers treating patients of COVID 19.
Boise State University
As Boise State University moved its instruction to an online delivery method as the novel coronavirus reached the state of Idaho, faculty and staff quickly collected PPE from around campus to bolster the supply for healthcare agencies. With nursing simulation labs, biology labs, and chemistry labs canceled, for the time being, Boise State has gathered all the unused and unopened PPE to donate. Items included gloves, masks, isolation gowns, goggles, head, and shoe coverings, sanitizer and wipes. All these donations have helped protect healthcare providers and first responders as they fight this pandemic. Boise State is also loaning 14 ventilators to local hospitals for use at this time, should they need them to treat patients. The College of Engineering has stepped up to help with designing and manufacturing face shields to donate to front line workers. They have utilized their 3-D printers to make thousands of face shields for donation.
Idaho State University
Idaho State University departments have teamed up to use their 3-D printers to manufacture N95 compliant masks for healthcare workers and first responders. They utilize a HEPA filter that keeps frontline workers safe if they are treating patients of COVID 19. They have also utilized the 3-D printers to make face shields to also donate to healthcare workers and first responders. ISU has also made reliable high-speed internet available in select parking lots.
Students, faculty, and the community have access to the WiFI to enable them to complete coursework during this time when classes are virtual.
College of Eastern Idaho
As courses transitioned to an online delivery method it became very clear that many students at the College of Eastern Idaho did not have access to reliable high-speed internet or personal laptops to continue their coursework remotely. The college quickly adapted by creating a laptop loan program allowing students to borrow laptops. They also installed WiFi routers in the parking lots so students could have access to reliable internet form their cars in the parking lots.
Community colleges and universities continue to be an essential thread of American society as institutions for learning, training, and now mobilizing for necessary PPE. Community colleges’ responses to COVID 19 in Idaho 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!