Kentucky hospital to furlough 300 employees: 'These are unprecedented times'

Morehead, Ky.-based St. Claire HealthCare announced it will furlough 300 employees who are not involved in direct patient care to ensure it can sustain clinical operations during and after the COVID-19 pandemic.

St. Claire HealthCare said that it has suspended elective procedures to free up bed capacity for hospitals, and as a result, has experienced a significant decline in patient visits at clinics and ambulatory surgery centers. Postponing these nonemergent procedures will result in a significant hit to its revenue, the medical center said.

The furloughs, which affect about 25 percent of the hospital's workforce, take effect March 26. 

"We realize that our actions will have a tremendous impact on our staff and our community,” said Donald Lloyd II, St. Clare HealthCare's president and CEO. "It's not a decision we wanted to make, nor do we take it lightly, but we have to take immediate action to ensure that we can sustain our clinical operations during and after the COVID-19 crisis ends."

St. Claire HealthCare said it will help affected employees apply for unemployment. Furloughed workers will still have insurance through the hospital.  

Mr. Lloyd said he expects the furloughs to be temporary, but added "these are unprecedented times" and warned the hospital doesn't know "what the future holds or what recovery will look like."

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