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March 20, 2020

COVID-19 Emergency Volunteers Needed

As Washington takes more steps to reduce the spread of COVID-19, the Washington State Department of Health will now enroll and activate emergency volunteer health practitioners in preparation for health system requests and surging. This will help the state meet emerging demands for health care workers.

The DOH can perform this work under the authority of the Uniform Emergency Volunteer Health Practitioner Act (chapter 70.15 RCW), if an emergency proclamation by the governor is in effect - as is the case in Washington as of Feb. 29, 2020.

If volunteers are registered in the volunteer health practitioner system and verified to be in good standing in all states where they are licensed, they may practice in Washington without obtaining a Washington license once activated and assigned by DOH.

In-state practitioners can become volunteers in two ways:

  • Via RCW chapter 70.15 by registering and completing the Emergency Volunteer Health Practitioners Application which can be found here.
  • Via registering with their local Medical Reserve Corps; more information can be found at: https://mrc.hhs.gov.

Out-of-state practitioners may:

  • Become volunteers via RCW chapter 70.15 by registering and completing the Emergency Volunteer Health Practitioners Application which can be found here.
  • Out of state MDs and DOs who would like an expedited Washington license and to volunteer, may use the Interstate Medical License Compact and become registered under RCW 70.15. At this time, we are limiting our request for health care practitioners to U.S. jurisdictions due to technical issues. We may expand the call to international jurisdictions in the future as needs arise.

Applications will be screened by the DOH to ensure the potential volunteer’s health license is in good standing in each state they where they are licensed. The DOH will activate, deploy and deactivate approved volunteer health practitioners as needs are identified and requested. Please share this urgent request broadly with other organizations, national groups, stakeholders, followers, and readers.

FAQs about RCW 70.15 are available here. Questions can be emailed to WAserv@doh.wa.gov or 360.236.4090.

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