Medical experts move in to administer vaccine rollout

University relocates Cal State LA students allowing deployed medical personnel a place to stay

FEMA personnel gather in Parking Lot 5 in front of LACHSA at Cal State LA in preparation for the federal vaccination site that is set to open tomorrow.

Marisa Martinez, Audio Editor

Update: March 1, 2021 @ 6:05 p.m.

As the nearly year-long pandemic continues, the Cal State LA campus is once again buzzing with a significant number of people. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and Federal Emergency Management Agency personnel flocked to Parking Lot 5 this past weekend in preparation for the campus’s vaccination site that is set to open tomorrow.

But these medical experts are not the only ones hustling to prepare for the vaccination site. Thirty students in housing are making way for the deployed experts to stay in campus housing while the site is operating. 

The Cal State LA Communications and P.R. Office confirmed that the Phase II housing buildings are being used for office and living quarters for “private nurses, the California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services, the California National Guard and the Federal Emergency Management Agency.”

The 30 relocated students moved from the Phase II building to the Phase I housing building. Each student’s room type and living situation is similar to the one they left while making room for the frontline workers who are administering the vaccine site in Parking Lot 5.

Students were provided with movers and $1,000 of credit per relocated student to be applied towards their rent, according to the Communication and Public Relations Office.

Cal State LA political science major, Victoria Santana said that although the university provided moving services for students, finding the spare time to move in between classes was not an easy feat, nor was keeping her distance from the dorms’ new inhabitants.

“I think it would have been easier to just have at least one to two family members come and help,” the first-year student said. “Also the halls are just flooded with federal agents and [the] national guard so it’s kind of hard to keep six feet distance when they are everywhere not following distance rules.”

The university’s Communication and PR office was unable to respond to the lack of social distancing happening within the dorms, nor was the CDC or FEMA. Those who are currently populating the grounds are medical experts who specialize in large-scale emergencies such as the COVID-19 pandemic.

Santana said the frustrations of moving on a tight deadline are outweighed by the much-needed community help the site will provide. Cal State LA kinesiology junior Genises Ordoñez agrees.

“It sucks that I have to move and everything but, at least it’s for a good reason,” Ordoñez said. “So I wasn’t even that mad about it… I feel like housing just got thrown this. And I know they’re trying to make the best out of it for us.”

The site is vaccinating thousands of local residents daily and is currently serving communities that have “some of the highest COVID-19 infection rates per capita in the region,” according to Cal State LA’s Communication and Public Relations office.

According to a staff-wide email, those working in education can make an appointment at the Cal State LA Vaccination Center through the state’s MyTurn scheduling system or by calling (833) 422-4255.

Other appointments can be made through the county vaccination sites or city vaccination sites.

Correction: The story was updated March 2 to say that representatives of a federal agency are on campus helping with vaccine distribution.