Local Humanitarian Aid Organization also distributed  500 free personal care PPE kits during the pandemic response event

By Chuck Gibson 

BLUE ASH, OH (July 26, 2020) – Cars lined Kenwood Road from the Matthew 25 Ministries (M25M) driveway (near the Cornell Road intersection) all the way back to Creek Road just before 9 a.m. Saturday morning, July 25, at the opening of the drive-thru free COVID-19 testing station there.

Cars are lined up ready to move to 1 of 6 drive-thru COVID testing stations at M25M event Saturday, July 25, 2020 (Chuck Gibson)

Police said M25M volunteers were well prepared to handle the volume of traffic when they began moving the vehicles into the testing stations. Many volunteers directed the traffic into lanes divided by orange traffic cones as the cars entered the grounds, other volunteers quickly met the vehicle, registered the person, or persons and directed them to one of the six drive-thru testing stations set up under tents. Police said the line of cars moved quickly and efficiently relieving any threat of traffic congestion immediately.

Volunteer staff member registers a person in one of the vehicles ready for Covid testing station (Chuck Gibson) 

Staff and volunteers set up the test stations and the PPE kits distribution area in the parking lot on Friday. Cones were placed to show a clear and safe path for all vehicles. After the COVID testing procedure was complete, the lanes set a clear path to the PPE kit distribution lanes where drivers simply popped their trunk, tailgate, or rolled down a rear window for volunteers to place the supply bag in the vehicle with safe, no-touch delivery. Ben Williams, disaster relief coordinator for Matthew 25 Ministries saw a smooth and efficient effort handling a large volume of people during the first two hours of a planned 7-hour event.

Ben Williams, Disaster Coordinator, Matthew 25 Ministries (Chuck Gibson) 

“About 300 people have come through, got tested and received PPE supplies,” said Williams. “The flow has been going very well. We haven’t had people waiting too long. The doctors have been able to administer the tests very quickly and efficiently.”

 By 11:30 a.m. there was virtually no line at all and cars entered the area and moved quickly through to the testing stations with nearly no wait at all. Williams said they had a lot of doctors from Christ Hospital and help from eXclusive Services helping to administer the tests. The PPE kits distributed contained a variety of familiar Procter & Gamble brand personal hygiene products and basic PPE items including gloves and masks. Cars barely even had to stop for the volunteers to place the supply bag in their car as they moved through the pick-up area. The biggest challenge may have come from the weather conditions.

“Probably the heat,” Williams said responding to the question if there had been any problems at all. “You have your mask on, the doctors, God love them, they’re in their full PPE gear to be safe so it’s been a little bit warm for them and for the staff. We’re out here helping people and that’s what drives us all during this time to do our best to help the community.”

Williams added the testing is important and the PPE supplies are important.

 “The fact we can provide those things right now is a wonderful thing,” he said, “and we’re happy to be doing it.”

PPE Kits were bagged and ready for pick-up (Chuck Gibson)

Just a pop of the trunk or tailgate and a PPE kit was delivered safely into your vehicle (Chuck Gibson)

Despite the heat, wearing full protective gear, and finishing off his fourth bottle of water, Dr. Eric Niemeyer of Christ Hospital had some very positive words to say about the testing and PPE supply distribution event at M25M Saturday. This is not his first time during the coronavirus pandemic. He speaks from experience.

“I’m a physician with Christ Hospital and back in March and April I was working at the respiratory COVID testing centers for them as well,” said Niemeyer. “This is fantastic. Everything has been set up very easy for us, very efficient, in and out just like it should be to get the test done safely.”

Niemeyer says they have better PPE and safety supply today than they had at the hospitals initially going back to April and May. He listed safety as the obvious #1 priority, but speed and efficiency is a close second for the people too. Response time for the tests administered during the event Saturday at M25M  were done quickly and efficiently. How long before people can expect results?

 “Five to seven days-ish,” Niemeyer said. “It’s been as soon as three days and as long as 10 days. They’ll (the lab) will get all these tests at once so it may be a little bit longer, but generally 5-7 days.”

Christ Hospital doctors like Dr. Eric Niemeyer and other partner helpers administered the COVID testing with full safety gear on (Chuck Gibson) 

Matthew 25 Ministries staff, volunteers, partners and people who came out to be tested all did their part on Saturday. On a hot, humid day humanitarian aid had taken the shape of 500 free COVID tests administered and 500 free PPE supply kits distributed in a very safe environment with impressive speed and efficiency. It is just one more part of the continuing response by M25M taking care of people here at home in Cincinnati during this pandemic crisis response. Disaster Coordinator Ben Williams summed it up with pride in their effort.

 “All of our volunteers and staff have done a phenomenal job,” Williams said. “We really appreciate all our sponsors and partners on this, just everybody working together on this day to help people in need during this time.”

For more about Matthew 25 Ministries Local & Global Humanitarian Aid Efforts and their partners, go to: www.m25m.og

A personal care and PPE kit included gloves, masks and P&G brand personal hygiene products (Chuck Gibson)