Medical students provide childcare for healthcare professionals during COVID-19 pandemic

There’s new help for essential workers in the D.C. region to find childcare.

Medical students are coming to the aid of doctors, nurses and other healthcare professionals who must go to work.

The COVID-sitting initiative is less than a week old and growing.

This comes just as Maryland announced childcare services for non-essential workers must close.

CORONAVIRUS RESOURCES: Everything you need to know about COVID-19 in the District, Maryland and Virginia 

FOX 5’s Tisha Lewis reports on support for people on the front lines who may also have children who are out of school.

The COVID-sitting idea just started this week among a group of medical students who could expand the service to healthcare professionals here in Virginia and in Maryland.

Right now, they’re in D.C. providing childcare for doctors and healthcare professionals at Howard, Georgetown and George Washington University hospitals, along with Washington Hospital Center.

On its website, the DC COVID Sitters says they are all volunteers.

They are all also apparently medical school students whose schooling was halted by the coronavirus pandemic.

The sitters do require those interested to sign a release of liability form. They also clarify that they are not licensed child care providers or healthcare professionals.

They are medical students from area colleges and universities, coming together, voluntarily, to provide a “sitting” service to their colleagues.

FOX 5’s Tisha Lewis reports healthcare professionals and healthcare support staff interested fill out a form and a coordinator matches the healthcare professional with a student. The vetting and screening process is up to the healthcare professional. Each student is only assigned one family to assist.

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The DC COVID Sitters state on their website that they are unable to work with any healthcare worker who has a fever, shortness of breath or tested positive for COVID-19 in the last 14 days or has traveled to a level three county — that requirement also applies to anyone in the healthcare provider’s household.

The DC COVID Sitters are also providing pet care and grocery delivery for healthcare professionals.