Facilities teams work hard behind the scenes in COVID-19 battle

If you’ve been watching and reading news stories about COVID-19, chances are, you’ve seen many mentions of Augusta University and AU Health System. Our efforts to fight the virus and stay ahead of the curve help demonstrate the advantage of academic medicine at the state’s only public academic health center.

For example, AU Health mobilized the first drive-thru test site locally at Christenberry Fieldhouse. Not long after that, drive-thru testing was deployed at Patriots Park in Columbia County and outside the Emergency Department at AU Medical Center.

What you may not know, however, is that Augusta University’s Facilities Operations team performed the majority of tasks to set up these test sites, from erecting the large tents, stationing generators, running power cords, stringing lights and connecting air conditioning units and essential electronic equipment. The team also set up basic items like tables and chairs, and they created and posted directional signs to moderate traffic. Much of this work was done behind the scenes with no fanfare.

AU Facilities Operations also helped hundreds of Augusta University students during their unexpected “move-out” from Oak and Elm Halls due to COVID-19 prevention mandates from the University System of Georgia and the governor’s office. The team disassembled cabinets, shelves and other furniture and helped carry heavy items out of the buildings and load cars for students as needed.

In addition, if you saw the recent Augusta Chronicle article and video on the new COVID-19 unit inside the Emergency Department at AU Medical Center, those renovations were made possible by the hard work of the hospital Facilities team.

This group jumped in and converted the former blood bank and ED observation unit into a critical care unit for COVID-19 patients. One of the most important pieces to this project included creating negative pressure rooms that prevent the virus from escaping through air vents into other rooms. New hospital room construction often takes months, but the AU Health Facilities team worked round-the-clock to complete these units in mere weeks.

As we continue to salute #OurAUHeroes involved in direct patient care, we also want to recognize those working hard behind the scenes, including the team members in Facilities at Augusta University and AU Health.

If you have a recommendation for an individual or a team of employees who deserve to be recognized as #OurAUHeroes, please email the media relations team.

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Written by
Denise Parrish

Denise Parrish is Director of Communications for Philanthropy and Alumni Engagement at Augusta University. Contact her to schedule an interview on this topic at 706-721-9760 or mparrish@augusta.edu.

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Written by Denise Parrish

Jagwire is your source for news and stories from Augusta University. Daily updates highlight the many ways students, faculty, staff, researchers and clinicians "bring their A games" in classrooms and clinics on four campuses in Augusta and locations across the state of Georgia.

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