Seymour and UD Arena Director Scott DeBolt acknowledge they’re playing only a small role in the fight against coronavirus and the true heroes are the people from Premier Health doing the testing every day, not to mention the doctors and nurses across Ohio and the nation treating the sick. However, it’s a job they were proud to take on when the crisis caused the cancellation of the First Four and the NCAA tournament.
“It’s definitely a different type of March Madness,” DeBolt said. “We’ll do it as long as we’re needed.”
“Any way I can contribute,” Seymour said. “The city, the state, the world, everybody has been hit pretty hard by this, but any little bit we can do — especially for Dayton because we’ve had a rough year so far — I want to be able to jump in there and do that.”
The testing site opened March 17, the same day the First Four would have started. DeBolt received notification two days earlier that Premier wanted to use the parking lot. On March 16, they figured out the logistics and started setting up tents and placing traffic cones. A day later, at 10:30 a.m., they began testing.
“It was kind of a quick turnaround,” DeBolt said, “but the good news is we have great relationships with some of our vendors who can turn around stuff on a dime.”
» MORE COVERAGE: Oregon District restaurant coping with crisis
Prime Time Party and Event Rental, of Dayton, provided the tents where the testing is done. The Ohio Department of Transportation delivered electronic signs, which direct drivers where to go.
DeBolt and his staff open the arena every day for Premier Health, providing lunch and access to restrooms and space to take breaks. More than 1,400 people have been tested for the virus at UD Arena, according to the most recent update from Premier Health on Tuesday. The site is open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Typically at this time of year, Seymour would have spent time at the First Four serving as a medical concierge for teams and as the drug testing coordinator for the NCAA. He’s considered essential staff at UD, so he had been coming into the office during this crisis. He knew his way around the Clorox machine so volunteered to take on the extra work.
“It feels good to contribute in some way to battling this thing,” he said.