Empty hospital bed
An empty bed in a closed hospital that is being reopened. Courtesy of the governor’s office

Gov. Gavin Newsom called on retired doctors and nurses, medical students and others with a healthcare background to join a new California Health Corps to fight coronavirus.

“California’s health care workers are the heroes of this moment, serving on the front lines in the fight against this disease. To treat the rising number of patients with COVID-19, our state needs more workers in the healthcare field to join the fight. If you have a background in health care, we need your help,” said Newsom at a press conference in Sacramento on Monday.

The state is seeking doctors, nurses, respiratory therapists, behavioral health scientists, pharmacists, EMTs, medical and administrative assistants, as well as certified nursing assistants to staff an additional 50,000 hospital beds to treat coronavirus patients.

California Labor Secretary Julie A. Su said the new statewide effort would fight the pandemic while creating “new opportunities and jobs for Californians struggling with unemployment.”

Healthcare professionals who join the new health corps will be paid and be covered by malpractice insurance.

The state is also calling for volunteers to assist in other ways, such as delivering meals, volunteering at a food bank or supporting a nonprofit organization.

Chris Jennewein

Chris Jennewein is Editor & Publisher of Times of San Diego.