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Coronavirus Response: Questions Remain On How California Health Corps Will Operate

SACRAMENTO (CBS13) - As tens of thousands of retired health care workers and medical students sign up to join the army of the California Health Corps, there are still questions about where they will serve and when.

Gov. Gavin Newsom said you could see patients being seen at Sleep Train Arena by April 20.

Mary Carroll Todd, a retired nurse, spoke with CBS13 while waiting to hear whether she'll be deployed as part of the California Health Corps. She says, she's willing to go anywhere.

"It doesn't appear that the resources have been strained, that they need additional resources," said Todd.

She's one of 81,000 health care professionals who want to fight this virus on the front lines.

"You need the place, you need the people, and you need the protective gear," said Newsom.

Newsom created the Health Corps to staff sites like Sleep Train Arena.

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"That will provide the surge capacity in terms of personnel to staff the 400 beds on this specific site," said Governor Newsom.

Now the state's task is to smoothly integrate the volunteer army into the existing health care system and staff the medical facilities that are springing up. On Monday, the governor said he has more than 4,600 beds locked in across the state.

The governor says the support to fund the program will come from the federal government, the state and private sector to cover the reimbursement paychecks for volunteers. He didn't say whether there would be an impact on the taxpayer.

"We have the capacity in the existing funding system, other systems of support including our own contributions," said Governor Newsom.

State leaders haven't said how much volunteers will be paid or how long they'll be needed.

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