Throughout the world everyone has been dealing with the deadly COVID-19 pandemic. Michigan, which has had some of the the highest Covid-19 cases in America at times, is now trying to spread awareness and increase the safety of its citizens. One way Michigan is helping its citizens is by trying to get schools and organizations to get their COVID-19 vaccinations.
One county doing this is Calhoun County. Throughout Calhoun County there have been many organizations and schools that have been hosting blocked off areas so students, staff, coworkers and parents can get their vaccine safely. Other counties are also offering the vaccine, including Eaton County. One school in Eaton County that has offered vaccines is Olivet High School.
Olivet High School, at the time of this writing, was getting ready to host a vaccine clinic at the school and give people the opportunity to get their COVID-19 vaccine. The principal of Olivet High School, Troy Waffle, was asked, why is it important to Olivet schools to provide shots? Waffle responded with, “We are providing space, which I feel is a good thing to be cooperative. Schools are certainly a place that works well to serve the community.”
Schools can be a big factor in spreading COVID-19, and there have been more than 10,000 positive cases in Eaton County alone. In the same interview with Waffle, he was asked what Olivet schools are doing to raise awareness to help keep students and staff safe.
“Early in the year there was a lot of information sent out, and also taught to students,” Waffle said. “We are a key contributor in the contact tracing process for kids. We also have many safety protocols and educate students on good hygiene.”
Going to this vaccine location at Olivet schools is Calla Epler. Epler is an online student that is currently attending Academy of Art University online, and she has not been able to get her shot due to scheduling around her school. Epler has taken this opportunity to get her vaccine as it is close to her home and is where she graduated.
The biggest reason Epler has wanted to take this opportunity is because she has started working as a consultant for L’BRI. She said she has been nervous as she must go to other homes for events and will be close to other people.
“I have been nervous starting out working for L’BRI as I must go into others’ homes and will come in close contact with others,” Epler said. “I don’t want to have the chance of bringing it home to my family, so this opportunity is great and I will feel more comfortable after getting the shot.”
One site hosting vaccine clinics in Calhoun County is Kellogg Community College. KCC held a drive-in vaccine clinic on April 29, where those in the community could come to KCC campus and get a free Pfizer vaccine shot.
KCC Vice President for Instruction Paul Watson was asked if KCC would provide this event again in the future and Watson responded, “I think it would be a great idea to host this again in the future as this is great for the community. This will also bring us one step closer to helping fix this pandemic.”
KCC has been been providing students with access to see what the cases have been at KCC during the spring semester on the college’s website at www.kellogg.edu/coronavirus, which includes COVID-19 announcements, KCC case data and resources for students.
A student attending KCC, James Kimble, has been attending since 2020 and is currently going for his general studies with plans to transfer to Western Michigan University.
Kimble was asked about the drive-in vaccine that occurred on April 29 and said, “I was not aware that KCC was going to do this as I am an online student and didn’t really see anything promoting this. I feel this is great for the community and those who need to get the vaccine as now they have the option to get it quick, fast and easy.”
When looking at all the resources that KCC provides to give information about COVID-19, and even tracking cases, Kimble was aware of the coronavirus updates section of the website.
“I have noticed this section on KCC’s website,” Kimble said. “This is a great way to spread information, and those who like to track cases can see what is going on at KCC. Also if there is any information corresponding to COVID-19 there is a list of websites I can visit and learn information.”
For more information about COVID-19 at KCC, vist www.kellogg.edu/coronavirus. For tracking and to learn about other locations offering vaccine clinics, visit calhouncountymi.gov/departments/public_health_department/covid_vaccine.php for Calhoun County and www.barryeatonhealth.org/index.php/coronavirus for Eaton County.