The human spirit behind the UCC Contact Tracing Centre
A few weeks after the closure of UCC’s contact tracing centre, we take a look back at the exceptional volunteers who answered the call to help.
In March 2020, University College Cork in conjunction with the HSE, set up a contact tracing centre in the University’s Boole basement, one of nine such centres established around the country. Volunteers from all walks of life offered their services to join the team in making necessary calls to those who had been diagnosed with COVID-19 and begin the process of tracing contacts.
The agile approach taken by the teams at UCC, the HSE and UCC Academy ensured the centre operated safely and efficiently, supporting the volunteers in their work.
It came as no surprise to Kathryn Neville of UCC’s College of Medicine and Health that so many answered the call for help.
When we set up the Contact tracing centre in early March, we knew that exceptional people would answer our call to volunteer. From retired healthcare professionals to staff and students of the University, the work those volunteers have done over the past three months was indeed exceptional.
Speaking with volunteers following the closure of the centre, they reiterated the unique experience felt by all.
People are great to help out in a crisis and that showed here in UCC and the call Centre.
There was a good sense that we were making a collective effort to do a national good.
Arlene Vithaldas, CEO of UCC Academy spoke about her team's involvement in the project. Not knowing what was ahead when the call came to set up the centre meant an ‘all hands on deck” approach.
I think I speak for all of us when I say that UCC Academy is incredibly proud to have worked with such a dedicated group of volunteers.
There is little doubt that the hard work and dedication of these volunteers saved lives and we sincerely thank them for their efforts during the country’s worst health crisis in decades.