GREENSBORO, N.C. (WGHP) — More than one million people in North Carolina have gotten COVID-19 since the start of the pandemic. As we hit one grim milestone, another provides a sign of hope.
At 7 p.m. on Thursday the FEMA mass vaccination site at the Four Seasons in Greensboro officially closes. FOX8 spoke with one man who has worked the site since day one.
“It’s something we’ll be telling our grandkids about,” said Major Chris Roys, deputy chief of operations at the site. “This is my community, I live here. So I’m seeing all my family and friends in the community coming through and as I start to see us get back to normal a little bit, it really makes it feel like we’ve done something here that we can be proud of.”
When Roys isn’t overseeing operations at Greensboro’s FEMA site, he’s head of IT at UNCG. A job he credits with helping plan the mass vaccination site that first opened in March and was finalized in less than a week.
“How things flow, how things are set up, where the signage goes. Working with other departments of course so it’s not a one-man show by all means but basically making sure the operation as a whole runs efficiently,” Roys said.
Since March, the Army National Guardsman and his team spent countless hours standing in the parking lot in front of Dillards, directing the more than 141,000 people who needed a spot to get a shot. One moment in particular sticks out in Roys’ mind.
“My youngest son just started driving class and I saw his instructor drive through the lane. I saw his sign on top of his car and I said hey my son’s in your class. He looked at my name and said yup I’ll see you Monday. So that was pretty nice,” Roys said.
At the end of the day, if there were doses still available, Guardsmen would go to the bowling alley, Bonefish Grill and nearby hotels asking people if they wanted a shot.
“It was pretty funny seeing all of us scatter around trying to find those last couple of people for the night. It’s been a fantastic mission. We’re all really excited to be here. All the civilians, the FEMA, the state agencies, the air force national guard came together as a team and pulled it off. We’re really proud of what we did,” Roys said.