The Governor is asking healthcare students and recent grads along with retired nurses and doctors to volunteer for the fight against coronavirus, and fast-tracking new licenses to get them into the field.

Edwards says the state still needs more personal protective equipment and ventilators, but first, they need people to use those goods.

“Really the most critical thing that we need in order to increase our surge capacity is the medical professionals, the nurses, the doctors, the respiratory therapists, and all of the other allied healthcare professionals,” says Edwards.

The need for additional healthcare workers in New Orleans will likely be acute with the state in the process of opening a 1,120-bed facility at the Morial Convention Center.

Edwards says LSU Health Shreveport was able to accelerate the timeline for getting residents into healthcare facilities, and he wants LSU Health New Orleans to do the same, and do it for all healthcare professionals because he noted that having all the beds and equipment in the world doesn’t mean much if you don’t have enough medical workers.

“I could commandeer a hotel if I wanted to and say every bed in it becomes a hospital bed but I don’t know who I would put there to render the necessary medical services,” says Edwards.

Volunteers can sign up at

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