Coronavirus: Riverside County seeks medical, non-medical volunteers amid staffing shortages

Riverside County is calling on volunteers with medical expertise to help in the battle against coronavirus.
RIVERSIDE, Calif. (KABC) -- Staffing shortages are creating a range of complications in the fight against coronavirus, and more health care workers are needed in Riverside County to assist the most vulnerable patients.

Riverside County Public Health officials are urging active and retired health care workers to volunteer to care for patients who have tested positive for COVID-19. Anyone interested in applying can visit rivcoph.org/coronavirus and click on the volunteer button on the right side of the screen to submit credentials.

Along with active and retired physicians, nurses and nurse assistants, non-medical volunteers are also needed for positions such as office staff or Class A and B drivers. The opportunities vary with some paid openings available, according to the county.

"This is the call to action. We need medical volunteers willing to take care of patients who are COVID positive," Dr. Michael Mesisca with Riverside University Health System said in a statement. "We will provide full protective equipment to keep you safe. But we need people to step up today. Go to our website and sign up to volunteer."

The call comes days after the county stepped in to assist a Riverside nursing home that was evacuated Wednesday after employees of the facility "did not show up to care for sick patients two days in a row."

RELATED: Coronavirus: 84 residents evacuated from Riverside nursing home after employees do not show up for work

Workers will also be needed to assist at the second federal field hospital to open in the county, this one inside the shuttered Sears at Arlington and Streeter avenues in Riverside.

National Guard personnel are working with a U.S. Department of Health and Human Services team to prepare the 125-bed facility for opening in the next several weeks. It will be reserved for sub-acute patients only, according to Emergency Management Department Director Bruce Barton.

He pointed out that the county is making headway with placing at-risk homeless individuals, with 300 dispossessed persons so far situated in rooms paid for with county tax revenue.

As part of the facility's requirements, the county must provide 30 to 40 personnel.

Riverside County will also open up its fourth drive-up testing site at the Lake Perris Fairgrounds on Tuesday. Those who want to be tested for COVID-19 must make an appointment and be experiencing symptoms.

City News Service contributed to this report.
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