WCU Public Health Students Go From Online Learning to Frontline COVID-19 Testing at OC Fairgrounds

Nursing students from West Coast University-Orange County moved their class from online to frontline while helping out at a COVID-19 testing site this February.

Free O.C. COVID-19 Testing Super Sites

Anyone who lives or works in Orange County can now get tested at no-cost for COVID-19:

  • Two locations:
    • Anaheim Convention Center
    • OC Fair & Event Center
  • Appointments are strongly encouraged to avoid delays and wait time.


For the next eight weeks, the public health students will see approximately 1,000 people a day for drive-thru coronavirus and flu testing at the OC Fairgrounds in Costa Mesa. WCU-Orange County nursing instructor Lizbeth Barragan said after nearly a year of online learning the eight students were extremely happy to do some hands-on training and get back to a real-world clinical experience.

“Once they got here, they saw that they were actually making a difference,” Barragan said. “They’re all appreciative to be here and we’re so thankful for this opportunity to come out and help.”

Paired with a medical assistant and under the supervision of a nurse, the WCU students collected medical histories, took vital signs and monitored as patients self-tested via nasal swab. The no-cost testing is available to anyone who lives or works in Orange County through a public-private partnership between the OC Health Care Agency, the cities of Anaheim and Costa Mesa, 360 Clinic and Fulgent Genetics.

WCU-OC student Lynn Don said people were being tested for a variety of reasons, like after coming into contact with someone who has COVID-19, experiencing flu-like symptoms or simply being tested for work. Whatever the reason, Don said, she hoped anyone who needed testing would make an appointment.

“They’re offering free testing so anyone can come here and get it done,” Don said. “We’re here to protect you and do the best that we can.”

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