CLEVELAND — To help the country in the fight against COVID-19, Cleveland Clinic is sending volunteers to hospitals in New York and Michigan, two states in desperate need of health care workers, according to a news release from the hospital system.
Cleveland Clinic said it has connected with hospitals in both New York and Michigan, who have requested the help of any available critical care nurses, nurse practitioners, board-certified critical care and emergency medicine physicians, physician assistants and CT and X-ray technicians.
Ohio is in a better state to handle sending volunteers to assist neighboring states thanks to efforts that are successfully “flattening the curve." Models show that the aggressive steps taken to socially distance have dropped the state's recent projected peak of about 10,000 new cases per day to 1,600, according to Dr. Amy Acton, head of the Ohio Department of Health.
Cleveland Clinic said it remains well-staffed to handle the anticipated surge in the states it has hospitals, but if there is an increased need at any of Cleveland Clinic’s own locations, it will bring the caregivers who are volunteering out of state back to assist at home.
The decision to travel and assist at an out of state hospital during the pandemic is completely voluntary for Cleveland Clinic staff, the hospital said.
Cleveland Clinic volunteers who choose to assist in Michigan and New York will receive pay and benefits and will not be charged vacation time for leaving their hospital. Housing, meals, transportation and laundering services will be provided and expenses will be reimbursed.
Any employee who volunteers can return home at any time and if they become sick, Cleveland Clinic will return them home, the hospital said.
New York is currently in a deadly battle with the coronavirus. The number of deaths linked to the novel coronavirus increased by 799 in the state of New York on Thursday. Meanwhile in Michigan, the need for health care workers is dire. As of Monday, more than 600 employees at a Detroit hospital network tested positive for COVID-19.