Community comes together to improve COVID test center experience





With increased demand and challenging weather causing a muddy situation at the U.S. Army Garrison Wiesbaden COVID-19 testing center tent, clinic leaders were looking for a solution to keep patients as comfortable and safe as possible.


Earlier this year, when COVID-19 reared its head in Germany, the clinic set up a testing center on Clay Kaserne. As temperatures got colder, they needed a tent to keep people out of the weather, and garrison planners coordinated with the Property Book Office and the Logistics Readiness Center and got a tent from the Directorate of Public Works to the site.


When the clinic again reached out to garrison planners — this time looking for a way to place some type of flooring to deal with the walked on and rained on dirt floor on the inside of the tent – the Logistics Readiness Center came up with the idea of using wooden pallets as a solution for now. Maj. Eduardo Serrano, Plans Officer, Plans and Operations, then contacted Army and Airforce Exchange Service General Manager Brian Smith to ask about the possibilities.


“It’s valuable to have the network in place and familiarity where just a simple phone call can generate a ton of support,” Serrano said. “They found a way to a solution, quick.”


Each person who was part of the planning credited the communication and willingness to help for getting the job done.


“One of our managers had the idea to use heavy duty plastic pallets,” Smith said. “They’re designed to hold 1,000 kilos each (more than 2,000 pounds).”


Serrano contacted Smith on Monday, and by that Friday they were delivering pallets to Clay Kaserne from a distribution center in Germersheim. Smith credited this swift action to the partnerships between various organizations.


“The military can make things happen quickly through partnerships,” he said. “You can see what we’re able to accomplish in such a short time.”


The new pallet flooring will create a dry, clean and safer surface, said Maj. Cassandra Ellington, deputy commander of administration at the Wiesbaden Army Health Clinic.


“It was awesome how people thought outside the box and came up with the idea for our flooring,” she said. “I really appreciate the support our community has provided us as our entire team continues to combat COVID..”


Having the support of the garrison and community is vital to getting the job done, Ellington said.


“We’ve been providing the testing, but leadership throughout the community has been coming together to make the testing experience more efficient and better,” she said. “It’s been a huge effort to run this, and it’s really great to have strong partnerships.”