State asking for volunteers to help fight outbreak

Coronavirus

LANSING, Mich. (WOOD) — As Michigan’s health care system is stretched thin due to the COVID-19 outbreak, the state is asking for people to volunteer.

On Saturday, the state launched a website for people to register to volunteer.

Officials are looking for trained medical professionals to assist hospitals in treating COVID-19 patients.

“We all go into medicine because we want to help people and this is an opportunity to do that,” said Dr. Jerry Evans, the medical director of Region 6 Healthcare Coalition.  

 Evans said these extra hands will be especially critical should local hospitals have to utilize the alternate care sites that were set up this week in preparation for a possible surge of patients.  

These volunteer services could soon be critical as health care workers on the front lines could themselves contract the virus.  

“The problem with an illness like this is it’s highly contagious,” Evans said. “So definitely health care workers can get exposed and can catch this virus and that’s where we’d need extra help to replace the people.” 

In addition, officials are looking for people with a background in public health, health care or community organizing to speak with COVID-19 patients to determine the people they interacted with and locations they visited in the days before becoming infected

Other people can use the website to learn where to give blood and donate money or supplies.

The state is also encouraging people to schedule an appointment with the American Red Cross to donate blood, as demand remains high during the pandemic.

The state volunteer website can be found here.

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