Governor Phil Scott is calling all Vermonters into service with the launch of a new website allowing people to sign up for volunteer assistance to support the state’s response to Covid-19: vermont.gov/volunteer.
The website directs those with medical and healthcare skills (nurses, pharmacist, EMS, physician assistants, veterinarians, mental health workers, etc.) to the Medical Reserve Corp (MRC), and those willing to fill in for essential work positions (such as grocery workers, public works professionals, drivers, etc.) to a quick registration process to sign up to help.
“The Covid-19 pandemic is rapidly developing, so we are calling on Vermonters to sign up, let us know what skills they can offer, and be ready to serve if needed,” states the call to action. “If we need you and your skills, we will be in touch. Our hope is to develop a large pool of people willing to help should any rapidly developing situation require additional volunteers.
“Our current greatest need is for health care professionals. If you have medical experience or are a retired medical professional, please sign up below to join the Vermont Medical Reserve Corps.
“We appreciate your interest in helping others during this moment in history. Together we will get through this and emerge stronger,” the statement continued.
Health care professionals can get expedited temporary licenses
Health care professionals can also now quickly become temporarily licensed to provide care during the Covid-19 public health emergency.
Gov. Phil Scott signed Act 91 on March 31, granting emergency authority to expedite temporary licensure for health care professionals. Bolstering the ranks of health care providers will expand access to medical services for patients and allow qualified retirees to serve Vermont at this difficult time.
“We urgently need clinicians and other experienced health workers to help us meet the demand for care,” said Health Commissioner Mark Levine, MD. “We are asking anyone who is qualified to please consider helping.”
The new emergency measures grant a temporary license for health professionals who:
Are licensed and in good standing in other states
Were licensed in Vermont, but whose licenses lapsed in recent years
In Vermont, the Health Department’s Board of Medical Practice licenses medical doctors, physician assistants, and podiatrists. Other health care professions – including nurses and osteopathic physicians – are licensed by the Secretary of State’s Office of Professional Regulation.
These provisions apply to people who were previously licensed. There are no fees of any kind to obtain a temporary emergency license. For more information visit sos.vermont.gov/opr or call 802-828-1505.
Donate Personal Protection Equipment (PPE)
Donations of N95 masks, medical and industrial grade, or surgical masks can be brought to your nearest State Police Barracks. You can find the location nearest to you at vsp.vermont.gov/stations.
The American Red Cross is desperately seeking blood donors as the national supply is short. With thousands of blood drives cancelled during the Covid-19 pandemic, the organization is working hard to open new donation sites.
“The need for blood is constant and your contribution is important for a healthy and reliable blood supply. You will feel good knowing you’ve helped change a life,” the American Red Cross states.
The American Red Cross of New Hampshire & Vermont serves all residents in both states — a population of more than 1.9 million people. We cover 24 counties and 18,973 square miles, the region operates with the support of a small group of paid staff and more than 1,100 dedicated volunteers.
To support social distancing, appointments are now required. Visit redcross.org to make an appointment. Current upcoming blood drives are:
Thursday, May 7
Trinity Episcopal Church, 85 West St., Rutland
Saturday, May 9
Alliance Community Fellowship Church, 1 Scale Ave. suite 101 building 3a, Rutland
Wednesday, May 13
Furnace Brook Wesleyan Church, 2190 Route 7, Pittsford
Friday, May 15
Alliance Community Fellowship Church, 1 Scale Ave. suite 101 building 3a, Rutland.
Support your local food bank
Not everyone has the financial stability to stock up on the two weeks of food needed for quarantine. Kids are home from school, businesses are closed, many friends and neighbors are out of work or isolated at home. You can help make sure that pantries are filled and that people are prepared to take good care of themselves and their loved ones. It is more important than ever to ensure that anyone in Vermont who needs a meal can get one. Donate online at vtfoodbank.org or text GIVEHEALTH to 85511.
Rutland County Meals on Wheels is in need of volunteer delivery drivers
Southwestern Vermont Council on Aging (SVCOA), administrators of the Rutland County Meals on Wheels program, issued an urgent call for volunteer support to assist with Meals on Wheels deliveries to homebound older Vermonters throughout the area.
“We’ve seen a drastic decline in the number of volunteer delivery drivers as the Covid-19 issue has progressed, coupled with a significant rise in demand for meals,” said Courtney Anderson, Nutrition Director with SVCOA. “As a result, we’ve had to alter delivery schedules and maximize staffing resources as best as possible. We are in great need of new drivers and hope that anyone who is interested or able will join the effort.”
Anyone who is interested in volunteering as a Meals on Wheels delivery driver should contact Penny Jones at 802-775-0133 as soon as possible.
SVCOA and Rutland County Meals on Wheels have implemented a number of thorough and stringent precautionary protocols for delivery drivers as directed by the Vermont Department of Health (VDH) and Vermont Department of Disabilities, Aging and Independent Living (DAIL). “We want to make it very clear to folks that there are significant protective measures in place that remove all in-person contact and that ensure the health and safety of delivery drivers, as well as meal recipients,” said Anderson. “This is a critical service for so many homebound individuals in our region, and we ask for your help.”
Southern Vermont Council on Aging (SVCOA) is also offering a grocery and supply shopping service to support older Vermonters in Rutland and Bennington counties during the Covid-19. If you’re interested in volunteering, please call SVCOA at 802-786-5990.
For more information visit svcoa.org.
BROC-Community Action: Broc.org
Rutland Regional Medical Center has 3 Covid-19 funds: the Community Support Fund,
the Community Tele-Innovation Fund, and the Emergency Response Fund:
Hunger Free Vermont: hungerfreevt.org/coronavirus
Killington Relief Fund: facebook.com/onekillington
Meals on Wheels: svcoa.org/ways-to-donate
United Way of Rutland County: uwrutlandcounty.org
Vermont Community Foundation: vermontcf.org
Vermont Emergency management: vem.vermont.gov/donate
Vermont Food Bank: vtfoodbank.org/give
Woodstock Area Relief fund: woodstockcommunitytrust.com/covid-19