NORFOLK, Va. - Governor Ralph Northam says Virginia is going through a public health emergency and says it’s going to take an all-hands-on-deck approach to care for COVID-19 patients.
“An ICU patient during a normal time would be cared for by a number of staff providers,” says Governor Northam.
Those providers include a nurse and several physicians, but the care doesn’t stop there.
“In the case of COVID-19 - a cardiologist, a pulmonologist and infectious disease specialist, a respiratory therapist, a pharmacist who is a part of the team,” adds Governor Northam.
He says with the rising number of positive cases, he’s calling on members of the community with medical training to put their gloves on and volunteer their skills and time with the state's Medical Reserve Corps.
“We are a large core of over 8,000 deployable volunteers - both health care and non-medical community leaders,” says Jennifer Freeland.
Freeland is the state volunteer coordinator for the Virginia Department of Health.
She says she has volunteers across the state supporting medical professionals in this pandemic.
“In Hampton Roads area, we have a team of volunteers who are supporting the call center in Norfolk,” Freeland adds.
Other volunteers are out collecting data.
“We have volunteers that are assisting our epidemiologist with outbreak investigation,” she adds.
Freeland says if you have the medical experience, some time and the passion, they need you to volunteer.
For more information on how to apply to become a volunteer with the VAMRC, click here.
Freeland say the organization is looking for “health care professionals: Anyone that had a recent clinical practice and perhaps is not working in their normal practice.”
She says she’s received nearly 2,000 applications in just 30 days, but as of now if things get worse, there will be a need for people who have experience with ventilators.
“It does take specific skills and staffing to be able to use that equipment, so any respiratory therapist we can definitely use them as well,” says Freeland.
On Friday, Gov. Northam announced that more than 650 people have signed up to volunteer with the VAMRC since putting out the call.