What it is really like to be a frontline COVID-19 tester

Bay County

BAY COUNTY Fla. (WMBB) — Lines at the Bay County COVID-19 testing sites are getting longer everyday. Just yesterday the county confirmed 92 positive cases.

Rain or shine, the unsung heroes performing the tests show up to help the community each day.

Crystal Young has been there since the start of the pandemic. 

“I can tell you I had salt marks on my scrubs from sweating so much,” Young said. “I mean we were here in 100 degree weather running up and down just making sure everybody was taken care of.”

Young said she has responded to wildfires and hurricanes in the past, but nothing compares to this.

“I’ve got a co-worker of mine that has stopped and prayed with people because she feels that that is her way of connecting and helping the people,” Young said. 

She said it’s hard knowing that when they hand back that positive result, there is not much they can do but answer questions.

Young and her co-workers know they are putting their lives at risk but say it isn’t the hardest part of the day. Instead it’s the flood of emotions they get from their patients.

“You don’t know how the person will react when they get back their results,” Young said. “There are tears of joy but there are also those looks of confusion and fright.”

Through the hardships young says she takes pride in being on the frontlines, and so does everyone else. Valerie Sale, the Public Information Officer for Bay County, said all of the county’s first responders have really been heroes throughout the pandemic. 

“These people are doing an amazing job for this community and we owe them a debt of gratitude,” Sale said. “It is really important that we remember and recognize what they’re doing as a part of their daily job.”

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