500 Essentia Health workers placed on administrative leave

Citing a severe disruption in services due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Essentia Health has placed about 500 nonclinical staff on administrative leave. 

Affected employees at the Duluth, Minn.-based system can maintain their health insurance, take paid time off and apply for unemployment with the state, according to a health system news release. 

Essentia Health said the decision was made because it expects a 20 percent to 40 percent decrease in revenue with the postponement of elective procedures and fewer patients at its clinics. 

"The decision to refocus our operations for the coming COVID-19 surge is difficult because we deeply appreciate the contributions of all our Essentia colleagues," said David Herman, MD, CEO of Essentia Health. "We recognize and regret the hardship this uncertainty will have on our co-workers and their families."

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