Since the COVID-19 pandemic began, the University of Minnesota Medical Reserve Corps has deployed volunteers to support many response efforts across campus and throughout our community. Requests for U of M MRC resources involve specific needs identified by the requesting agency, which in turn dictates which MRC members are eligible for that particular deployment.
Active U of M Medical Reserve Corps COVID Deployments
There are no active COVID deployments at this time.
U of M Medical Reserve Corps Teams on Standby
COVID-19 RAPID RESPONSE SALIVA TESTING TEAM
As part of the University’s layered approach to COVID-19 testing, the U of M MRC developed a COVID-19 Rapid Response Saliva Testing Team. This team will be responsible for conducting COVID-19 saliva testing in the event of:
- Newly identified cluster of cases on campus
- An outbreak of cases related to an identifiable group and/or location on campus
COVID-19 VACCINATION TEAM
The COVID-19 Vaccination Team assists with COVID vaccination efforts across the UMN campus and in the community. The team has been supporting vaccination clinics since January 2021, and fills roles related to vaccine clinic operations, such as client check-in, logistics, and vaccine administration.
Completed U of M Medical Reserve Corps COVID Deployments
At the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, the U of M MRC provided a linkage between health science students and COVID-19 response needs. Many of these opportunities met academic requirements.
- Command Center Support- MHealth Fairview: School of Public Health students assisted with MHealth-Fairview Command Center operations in virtual and in-person functions. (March to April 2020)
- Telehealth: Medical Students assisted MHealth-Fairview with telehealth support under direct supervision of a preceptor. (March to June 2020)
- Medical Triage (SOC): Medical Students assisted with triage at MHealth-Fairview Midway in 2-4 week rotations. (March to June 2020)
- Medication Reconciliation: Pharmacy students and faculty assisted MHealth-Fairview with post-discharge medication reconciliation under the direct supervision of a preceptor. (March to August 2020)
- Boynton Screening SON: School of Nursing students provided COVID-19 screening at the front entrance of Boynton Health. (September to December 2020)
COMMUNITY OUTREACH DEPLOYMENTS
The MRC deployed for outreach initiatives to improve the health of the community during the COVID-19 pandemic.
- Gopher Grocery Assistance Outreach: MRC members provided learning materials and direct telephone assistance to those learning to use online grocery ordering. (May to December 2020)
- Smileys Clinic Phone-based Get Well Loop & Education Outreach: MRC members provided phone-based education and outreach to Somali seniors to provide education about the COVID-19 pandemic. (May to August 2020)
- Vaccine Equity Initiative Deployment: Members staffed information tables at Coffman Union to answer questions about the COVID-19 vaccines and provide resources on vaccine education and access. This deployment was part of the Vaccine Equity Initiative, which focuses on improving vaccine confidence in BIPOC, LGBTQ+, and disabled communities. (May 2021)
- Vaccination Clinics & Afghan Evacuee Support: MRC volunteers filled vaccine injector and support staff roles at COVID vaccination clinics for newly arrived Afghan evacuees at temporary housing sites upon their arrival to Minnesota. (November 2021 to February 2022)
COVID-19 TESTING DEPLOYMENTS
MRC members deployed to testing sites to support COVID-19 testing events.
- COVID-19 Testing for Community Activists: The U of M MRC partnered with Saint Paul - Ramsey County Public Health to assist with COVID-19 testing for individuals involved in demonstrations, vigils, and neighborhood cleanup following the murder of George Floyd. (June 2020)
- COVID Testing at CUHCC: Supported a testing clinic organized by CUHCC in the Cedar-Riverside area. (June 2020)
- Mower County COVID-19 Testing: Supported a 2-day COVID-19 testing event at the Mower County Fairgrounds in Austin, MN. (June 2020)
- Ramsey County COVID-19 Testing: Supported pop-up testing sites in Ramsey County. (August 2020)
- Pre-Thanksgiving COVID-19 Saliva Testing: Members filled support roles along with Vault Health staff to test 3,991 students, staff, and faculty in a two-day saliva testing event at the U of MN Twin Cities campus on Nov. 16 & 17, 2020.
- Boynton Testing (MTest): Supported Boynton Health's MTest testing at the Twin Cities RecWell Center. (November 2020 to April 2022)
- Rochester Spring Break Saliva Testing: Conducted Vault saliva tests at the Rochester campus. (April 2021)
COVID-19 VACCINATION DEPLOYMENTS
The MRC supported COVID-19 Vaccination clinics on campus and in the community with its COVID-19 Vaccination Team.
- Campus COVID-19 Vaccination Clinics with Boynton Health: Members volunteered at vaccination clinics at the RecWell and TCF Bank Stadium in injector and support roles. (February to May 2021)
- Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHC) Vaccination Clinic Support: In response to requests received from metro area Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHCs), members volunteered at 7 FQHCs in the metro area in injector and support roles. (February to July 2021) Learn More.
- Duluth Campus Vaccination: Supported a Duluth Campus COVID vaccination clinic. (January 2021)
- ROTC Campus Vaccination: Staffed the first aid station at a COVID vaccination clinic for ROTC students. (March 2021)
MDH SUPPORT DEPLOYMENTS
The MRC provided expertise and staffing support to the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) in their COVID-19 response activities.
- PPE Technical Assistance: Former School of Nursing faculty member with expertise in infection control and personal protective equipment assisted the State Emergency Operations Center planning and policy development. (March 2020 to April 2021)
- Support to State Epidemiologist: School of Public Health faculty member and medical student provided assistance and support to the State Epidemiologist and members of her team. (April 2020 to April 2021)
- MDH Case Investigation & Contact Tracing (CICT): Health Sciences students made case investigation calls as part of the MDH CICT team. CICT is a core disease control measure employed by MDH as a key strategy for preventing further spread of COVID-19. (May 2020 to March 2021)
- Public Health EIS Officer Support: An SPH student served as a CDC Epidemic Intelligence Service (EIS) Officer at MDH to support the COVID vaccine rollout. (June 2020)
- CDC/MDH Medical Chart Review: Members reviewed medical charts from patients at two long-term care facilities to understand more about signs and symptoms that come before and after a COVID diagnosis. (July to August 2020)
MRC Members met unique needs in numerous other initiatives during the COVID-19 Response.
- Boynton Triage/Screening at Entrance: Nurses and medical students staffed a triage station at the entrance of Boynton health. (March 2020)
- Laboratory Support Team: Medical students, dental students, and graduate health sciences students assisted with COVID-19 testing operations. (May to August 2020)
- N95 Respirator Fit Testing Strike Team Deployment: N95 Respirator Fit-Testing Strike Team members assisted with fit testing for U of M staff and students. (June 2020)
- Dental school PPE Distribution: Dental students staffed the distribution of PPE to dentists in the metro area. (June 2020)
- Boynton Case Investigation & Contact Tracing (CICT): Health Sciences staff and SPH students assisted Boynton Health with Case Investigation and Contact Tracing (CICT) for COVID-19 cases on the U of M campus. (November 2020 to May 2021)