Coronavirus: Feds seeking medical student volunteers to help fight virus

The federal government is seeking volunteers with medical experience to provide backup support in the fight ag…

The federal government is seeking volunteers with medical experience to provide backup support in the fight against COVID-19.

Health Canada is creating a database of specialized volunteers provinces and territories can draw on to help track down people who have been in contact with positive cases, collect data and provide surge capacity at hospitals.

The online application process was launched this week.

“It’s asking people who have the skill set to do public health, like contact-tracing and other skills that provinces are looking for, to apply,” said chief public health officer Dr. Theresa Tam.

Most public health agencies in major jurisdictions still have the resources to try to track down the close contacts of every person confirmed to have contracted COVID-19 to try to break the chains of transmission, Tam said. They tell those contacts that they might have been exposed to the illness and to take preventive measures.

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It’s a vital effort in the fight against the virus and, as cases increase, the people doing the work are likely to become overloaded and will need the help, she said.

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That’s where medical students come in.

“All of us are itching to contribute in some way,” said Heidi Li,

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