Coronavirus response volunteers with these skills are most in demand

Coronavirus means health care facilities need surge staff

Volunteers with medical skills are in high demand, especially in hard-hit New York, as more and more people test positive for coronavirus.

New York City, Washington, D.C., and other cities are asking that certified health care workers register with their local Medical Reserve Corps so they can be matched with health care facilities seeking surge staff.


D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser sent out the call for more people to join the Medical Reserve Corps this weekend.

Ian Coulter, student at the University of Colorado Medical Center, waits to accept medical supplies as part of an effort staged by two state lawmakers, Project C.U.R.E., Colorado Concern and the Denver Broncos Sunday in Denver. (AP Photo/David Zalubo

"Currently, there's over 600 members of the DC MRC – 2/3 are medical professionals," Bowser wrote on Twitter. "The program vets [and] trains its volunteers. DC Health has called up the DC MRC for coronavirus response. We continue to seek additional medical professionals for the DC MRC."

Much attention has focused on hospitals' need for respirators and ventilators, but the pandemic has brought with it an increased need for medical workers, many of whom are risking their health to serve.


Prospective volunteers can sign up with their local city or county government. Even those without medical skills can help. New York City is asking that roughly 2,000 people give blood per day to maintain its supply.

Retired doctors are returning to the field in both the U.S. and United Kingdom, even though many of them are in the at-risk age category for the virus. For example, San Mateo County in California asked retired medical professionals for assistance last week.

But some health policy experts are warning against such a move.

"Please do not bring in retired doctors to units full of coronavirus! Old people at at high risk of dying from the infection," health policy expert Dr. Marty Makary wrote on Twitter.

The U.S. reached 35,224 confirmed COVID-19 cases and 471 deaths as of Monday morning.