COVID-19 Response & FAQs

We were made for such a time as this. And so were you.

You might feel helpless to stop this virus. But, you’re not. Your support is making a quick response possible. We are stronger together. 

With more than 40 years of experience responding to disasters with life-saving medical interventions, we are bringing the best of what we have to fight this deadly outbreak. We are determined in our hope that this crisis can be overcome. That lives can be saved and communities healed.

We know that every crisis is different. Every response is unique. That’s why we’re nimble and agile. We pivoted our entire organization to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and to support local health systems.

By giving to fight this pandemic, your dollars are going to the frontlines of this fight. You’re helping diagnose and treat patients with COVID-19 and protect health care workers as they fight this disease. Your gifts also train Community Health Workers to identify cases in refugee camps and share up-to-date information with vulnerable communities.

Your support is ensuring the people in crisis – people already suffering from a lack of resources – don’t fall through the cracks during this crisis.

Bangladesh, boy getting temperature taken

The outpouring of generosity from supporters like you has been incredible.
Here is some of what you’ve helped accomplish so far:

  • COVID-19 Testing Clinics — So far we’ve helped screen over 10,000 people for COVID-19 in Oregon and Washington.
  • Isolation and Treatment Center — Our teams on the ground in the Rohingya Refugee Camp of Bangladesh are operating a 50-bed COVID-19 isolation and treatment center.  
  • Urgent dental care is ongoing, serving vulnerable populations in the Pacific Northwest. Already, over 2,600 patients have received urgently-needed care and have been able to avoid going to an overburdened hospital emergency room.
  • Preventing infections — All field staff are following guidelines from WHO and the CDC in order to prevent infections as they continue to bring life-saving medical care in refugee camps and other remote locations. 
  • Training Community Health Workers and Medical Staff – Our Community Health Workers are on the front lines, providing COVID-19 awareness and prevention messaging and helping with tracing and medical referrals. Partnering with country governments, we’re helping train and equip local national medical staff on good COVID-19 practices.
  • Personal Protective Equipment — Thousands of gowns, face masks, exam gloves and safety glasses have been provided across the Pacific Northwest and are being put to use in places like Providence St. Joseph Health, the UW Medicine Emergency Department, Evergreen Hospital in Kirkland, St. Charles Hospital in Bend and Providence Mount St. Vincent in Seattle.

With your help, we will continue to respond.

Internationally, we work in places where health care systems are weak due to disaster and conflict. As COVID-19 spreads, it is more evident than ever that there are far too many vulnerable people and too few resources for their communities to handle this crisis.

While the world’s focus is on this current pandemic – we must not forget that deadly diseases like malaria are killing vulnerable people every day. Mothers are still dying in childbirth at alarming rates and babies aren’t making it to their first birthdays. The difference is that many of these urgent health concerns are preventable and treatable. 


Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Are there COVID-19 cases in areas where Medical Teams works?

A:  Yes. To date, there have been confirmed cases in every country where Medical Teams works. We are equipping the communities we serve by providing important public health messages about COVID-19, how to prevent it and how to stop the spread of the disease. We are also sending Personal Protective Equipment and readying health facilities to treat COVID-19 patients.

Q:  What does your COVID-19 response look like in the U.S.?

A: We’re providing free COVID-19 testing in hotspots where case numbers are high. So far we’ve helped provide 210 COVID-19 testing clinics in Washington state and started testing clinics in Oregon.

Mobile Dental Clinics in Oregon and Washington are providing urgent dental care. Dental pain, like many other urgent health concerns, doesn’t stop just because there is a pandemic happening. These clinics help keep dental patients out of Emergency Departments. 

Q:  What does your response look like in other countries?

 A: In many areas where we work – such as refugee camps – the spread of COVID-19 would be devastating. Many refugees have underlying conditions like malnutrition, malaria or respiratory infections, which make them more susceptible to COVID-19. Our teams must be vigilant with COVID-19, while continuing their daily work of saving lives from preventable causes.

COVID-19 has reached some of the vulnerable communities in the countries where we work. It has the potential to become very deadly, very quickly. In crowded refugee camps, disease can spread like wildfire.

Every challenge we face in the United States in the fight against COVID-19 is multiplied for people living in refugee camps. To put into context the density of refugee camps and the potential for a massive outbreak – in the refugee camps in Bangladesh, the population density is four times that of New York City – and standards for hygiene are much lower.

We are ensuring our country staff are equipped with everything they need to combat COVID-19 – including information on symptom identification and prevention measures. We are making sure our doctors, nurses and Community Health Workers have access to the PPE they need to provide medical care and share health messaging around the world.

Q: Is Medical Teams sending volunteers internationally right now?

A:  No. As of March 22, 2020, all volunteers have safely returned home from their volunteer posts due to closing of international borders. We have determined that any further travel for volunteers for current programming is non-essential travel and have either been canceled or postponed.

Q: Is the Real Life Exhibit open?

A:  As of March 13, 2020, the Real Life Exhibit in Tigard, Oregon is closed until further notice due to health safety concerns surrounding COVID-19.

While this museum remains closed, we’ve created an engaging digital version for you to enjoy at home with your friends and family. See our COVID-19 response in action with a free virtual tour.

Take a tour

Q: Is Medical Teams currently raising money for COVID-19?

A:  Yes. Since all our work is impacted by the spread of COVID-19, we are bringing the best of what we have to fight this deadly outbreak. We are uniquely positioned to respond at such a time as this — both in the Pacific Northwest and around the world. Your donation will go to work immediately to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.

Your support is ensuring the people in crisis – people already suffering from a lack of resources – don’t fall through the cracks during this crisis.

Will you join the fight against COVID-19?

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