Gritman Medical Center in Moscow has joined other Idaho hospitals in an effort to recruit residents with medical experience to volunteer in response to the pandemic.

According to a Tuesday news release, the State of Idaho has relaxed licensing requirements to allow health care providers, nurses and pharmacists to gain fast-tracked licensure approval as COVID-19 cases surge to critical levels, putting pressure on state and regional hospitals.

The release said Gritman and other hospitals can quickly recruit former health care workers through the Idaho Medical Reserve Corps. Applications through the Medical Reserve Corps can be expedited for former health care workers who have retired, allowed their licenses to lapse and those with licenses for another state.

Eligible medical professionals include physicians, physicians assistants, nurses and respiratory therapists with inactive or expired licenses, as well as nurses with multi-state licenses, among others. New nursing graduates and current nursing students wanting to serve in an apprenticeship model may also apply. Pharmacists must have proof of 30 hours of continuing education credits over the last two years to be eligible.

Residents who do not have medical experience may also apply to volunteer their help in a range of nonclinical roles.

Residents in north central Idaho interested in joining the corps can sign up at volunteeridaho.com/ by clicking the “add organization” link when prompted and selecting “PHD2 North Central Idaho Medical Reserve Corps.” Gritman staff are monitoring regional submissions, the release said.

Public Health - Idaho NorthCentral District reported one new COVID-19-related death in Latah County Tuesday, pushing the in-county death toll from the pandemic to 18. The person who died was a woman in her 80s, public health officials said.

The agency also reported 18 new cases in the county Tuesday, which brings the total number to 3,605 since the pandemic began, including 3,279 people who have recovered from the disease.

New cases include seven women between the ages of 18 and 29, a man and a woman in their 30s, two men and two women in their 40s, a man in his 50s, three women in their 70s and a woman in her 80s.

Whitman County Public Health reported 28 new cases Tuesday, pushing its total to 4,819. The total number of deaths in Whitman County remained unchanged at 54 and 146 people have been hospitalized with the disease since the start of the pandemic — two more than Monday’s count.

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