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Mayor Faulconer calls on all current, past medical workers to help treat COVID-19

Those who sign up can input their information in the state database. Participants will be paid and will be provided with malpractice insurance coverage.

SAN DIEGO COUNTY, Calif. — San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer called Monday on all local medical residents, nursing students or former medical workers to register with the state to help treat an expected surge in COVID-19 patients.

The mayor's call to action follows last week's creation by Gov. Gavin Newsom of the California Health Corps, a state-led effort to recruit additional healthcare professionals to help fight the COVID-19 pandemic.

Faulconer asked current residents and nursing students in San Diego, as well as retired healthcare professionals or former medical workers who moved onto a different career, to join up.

The mayor said those who register will be paid and receive malpractice insurance coverage.

"You'll be given an opportunity to play a critical role in this public health emergency," Faulconer said. 

All those who can, sign up at sandiego.gov/coronavirus. City of San Diego’s call for medical and healthcare professionals is part of a state-wide effort.

Who is needed?

  • Physicians (MD, DO), including medical residents
  • Pharmacists
  • Dentists
  • Nurse practitioners
  • Physician assistants
  • Nurses (RN, LVN, CNA), including nursing students
  • Behavioral health professionals (psychiatrist, psychiatric technicians psychologist, psychiatric nurse practitioner, LCSW, LMFT, LPCC)
  • Respiratory therapists
  • Paramedics
  • Medical assistants
  • Emergency medical technicians

"If you are willing and able, please sign up to help,” said Dr. Joelle Donofrio Odmann, City of San Diego’s Associate Medical Director.

Those who sign up can input their information in the state database. Participants will be paid and will be provided with malpractice insurance coverage.

Click here to see if you are eligible. 

"Thanks to all San Diegans for your cooperation and support. It has been a lot of work. It has been a lot of sacrifice. We are not out of the woods. April is going to be a critical month. San Diegans, keep doing your part,” said Faulconer.

San Diego County officials on Monday reported an increase of 78 confirmed COVID-19 cases in the county, raising the total number to 1,404, but no new deaths. 

Last week, Faulconer issued an order making all city properties available for use to treat COVID-19 patients, as he said it was expected that local hospitals will see a surge of new patients that could lead to overwhelmed hospitals and staffs.

"We are expecting some type of surge and we must be ready to provide the medical services necessary to save lives," Faulconer said.

It took California nearly a month after declaring a state of emergency to change rules allowing thousands of nursing students to graduate so they can help fight the coronavirus. Nursing schools for weeks pleaded with the state to allow students in their final semester to use simulated training rather clinical work in hospitals to complete their degrees.

Late on Friday, state officials announced a waiver changing the rules. Other states moved much more quickly to change their rules. 

Critics say the delayed response in California wasted precious time needed to build staffing for the expected surge of virus cases.  

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