3rd grader thanking UVA nurses for helping her get back into the classroom

Arya O'Bier
Arya O'Bier(WVIR)
Published: Sep. 9, 2021 at 4:45 PM EDT
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ALBEMARLE COUNTY, Va. (WVIR) - A third grader is thanking the nurses at the University of Virginia Children’s Hospital for turning their office into a walk-in coronavirus testing clinic.

When Arya O’Bier came down with the sniffles at Greer Elementary School, she says she was immediately sent home.

“They ended up sending me home saying you can’t come back to school. Get a covid test or wait 10 days,” Arya said.

However, finding a COVID-19 test proved to be difficult: “We went to one place to get my covid test. It just wasn’t working,” Arya aid.

Her mom, Melissa O’Bier, says getting a test is understandable, but also a huge challenge.

“I’m willing to get the testing done, but the ability to get it just wasn’t there,” she said.

That’s when Arya, her mom, and 30 other families in the same situation walked into UVA Health’s Battle Building with the hope of getting swabbed.

“We don’t want to turn anyone away,” nurse RoseMarie Carter said.

Carter and her colleagues turned the appointment-only office into a walk-in clinic.

“We just rocked it out. We put them in the rooms, we got some orders in, we got them registered. We had two people come from home to help us,” Carter said.

This team of doctors and nurses at UVA did what others were not in a position to do: They stopped and helped.

“Not once did anyone say, ‘Well, let’s send them home,’ or, ‘Let’s not do this,’” Ambulatory Director Teresa Green said.

Albemarle County Public Schools says it is aware of these ongoing testing struggles families are now facing.

“We are talking with some of our community partners from the medical community” ACPS Spokesperson Phil Giaramita said. “Even including UVA and the health district on how we can expand availability for testing, because we understand it’s difficult now to schedule a test.”

As for O’Bier, she’s thankful to be back in the classroom.

“The ladies were super nice and without them I might have had to wait for 10 days to go back to school,” Arya said. “They really helped and I want to say thank you to all of them.”

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