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Unused RV campers repurposed as quarantine housing for healthcare workers

When doctors and nurses go home from fighting COVID-19 in hospitals, another battle starts: keeping their families safe from possible exposure.

NEW ORLEANS — If you have an RV, chances are you’re not using it right now, but lots of RV owners are starting to put them to good use, thanks to social media and a need during this COVID-19 pandemic.

It started out as a grassroots social media campaign three weeks ago. Now, “RV’s 4 MDs” has almost 28,000 Facebook members, connecting medical workers with RV owners.

They’re on the front lines at hospitals caring for patients battling COVID-19, but when all those doctors and nurses go home, the battle is how to keep their families safe from possible exposure.

 “I really feel like it’s important to protect the people who are protecting us,” said Amy Garner, from the Northshore, who’s a volunteer with the Louisiana chapter of “RVs 4 MDs.

“Our entire purpose is just matching medical professionals who don’t want to expose their families with people who are willing to loan their RVs to them,” said Garner.

The idea was born in Texas where Emily Phillips ran into a problem with her husband, who’s a doctor.

“When it was time for us to quarantine, I got really nervous because I was worried about what he could be bringing home and exposing my family,” said Phillips.

 It works like this. If you have an RV not being used, a volunteer will match you with a medical family in need and work out the details. Right now it’s all being done through the “RVs for MDs” facebook page.

When a match is made Garner says logistics get worked out and most RV owners are happy to do delivery and setup.

“There are so many people in need here and I feel like it’s really going to speak to the people of New Orleans because we have a long history of helping each other and filling in gaps for our community,” said Garner.

In its short existence, the organization has about 600 matches across the country and Garner says it’s like a big family during a time when connection is needed. 

Once it’s time for those RVs to go back to their owners, sanitation is a big concern. In some cases, the medical professional is taking care of it, in others the owner is.  

If you want to loan your RV, here’s a link to the “RVs 4 MDs” facebook page.

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