Medical volunteers needed as Sullivan County ramps up preparations for more COVID-19 cases

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SULLIVAN COUNTY, Tenn. (WJHL)- Volunteers with RN and LPN backgrounds are specifically needed in Sullivan County as the Health Department tries to prepare for an increase in coronavirus cases in the coming weeks. These volunteers would assist if the area required an alternate healthcare facility in the future to fight a surge of coronavirus cases.

Last Thursday, Tennessee Governor Bill Lee made a special plea to those with healthcare backgrounds.

“We’re calling on all displaced or furloughed healthcare personnel, in our state and beyond, to register on the Tennessee Department of Health website, to work together with us to address the challenges that we have ahead,” Governor Lee said at a media briefing.

The Sullivan County chapter of the Medical Reserve Corps (MRC) is responding to the call by recruiting new volunteers. Current volunteers have been answering calls for the Health Department’s hotline and assisting at coronavirus screening tables.

“Right now we are looking for LPNs and RNs to come in and help, and that is through our call centers, our screening table. And there may be more opportunities in the coming days,” said Kinley Reed, Sullivan County MRC Coordinator.

Those other opportunities could be assisting with an alternate healthcare facility in Sullivan County if one becomes necessary. The governor’s office has already identified a number of sites across Tennessee to become alternate healthcare facilities to care for COVID-positive patients. This includes the Music City Center in downtown Nashville and the Knoxville Expo Center.

“Of course right now, we don’t have locations,” said Reed. “But right now we’re trying to get an influx of medical volunteers to come in. That way we are prepared for when or if that happens.”

The Sullivan County Regional Health Department said an alternate healthcare facility is not currently necessary for the area, but medical volunteers are needed if this changes.

Volunteers can sign up here through the Tennessee Department of Health website.

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