Loudoun County, Virginia, has put out a call for volunteers to beef up the ranks of its Medical Reserve Corps, which has played a key role in the community’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The county needs medical doctors, nurses, paramedics and other medical professionals, and there’s also a need for nonmedical personnel in the volunteer corps.
“The Loudoun Medical Reserve Corps has been very active throughout the COVID pandemic, doing everything from staffing our hotline that’s been in operation since the start of the pandemic, to doing outreach activities, to vaccinating individuals at our vaccination sites,” said Dr. David Goodfriend, the director of the Loudoun County Health Department.
The Medical Reserve Corps is a national network of locally organized volunteers. It was founded following the 9/11 terrorist attacks to help communities respond to emergencies.
Many jurisdictions throughout the region have Medical Reserve Corps.
Volunteers 16 years old and up fill the ranks of the corps, including young people seeking experience in the medical field and adults motivated by community spirit to pitch in during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Goodfriend said before the pandemic the county had 1,500 volunteers; currently, there are about 4,000 and more are needed. Some are on standby and some are active.
“Every day, we make use of volunteers and that’s been going on for the past 18 months,” Goodfriend said.
The county is aiming to bolster its ranks of volunteers in anticipation of a major vaccination effort this fall and winter.
“We do expect, within the next month or so, that the (Food and Drug Administration) and the (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) will be recommending vaccinations for 5-11 year-olds. And that’s really going to be important that when that recommendation comes that we can get those kids vaccinated as quickly as possible,” Goodfriend said.
While nonmedical personnel are needed along with medical professionals, Goodfriend said there is a particular need among professionals for those who are comfortable vaccinating young children.
“Hopefully we can get them full vaccinated before Thanksgiving,” Goodfriend said.
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