Pennsylvania hospital furloughs employees not directly caring for patients

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Lewisburg, Pa.-based Evangelical Community Hospital has furloughed a "significant" number of employees who are not involved in direct patient care, according to Penn Live

Kendra Aucker, president and CEO of Evangelical Community Hospital, announced the decision March 19. 

"Many employees not involved in direct patient care have been furloughed until the crisis passes while others will be working from home or will be on call," Ms. Aucker told Penn Live. "While extremely difficult to make, this decision was made to ensure the hospital is here to continue caring for this community when the pandemic ends."

In making the decision, the hospital divided employees into four categories: essential on site, essential at home, nonessential but on call and nonessential, according to The Daily Item.

The number of nonessential employees who were furloughed was not disclosed, but Ms. Aucker told The Daily Item: "We know it is a fairly significant number of people."

The furloughs are expected to be temporary, according to the hospital. 

The hospital has suspended elective surgeries and procedures to help address capacity restraints driven by the COVID-19 pandemic, according to Ms. Aucker. 

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