70 hospitals furloughing workers in response to COVID-19

https://www.beckershospitalreview.com/finance/49-hospitals-furloughing-workers-in-response-to-covid-19.html?utm_medium=email

City of San Antonio furloughs nearly 300 amid COVID-19 pandemic | KABB

Many U.S. hospitals and health systems have suspended elective procedures to save capacity, supplies and staff to treat COVID-19 patients.

As a result of suspending these nonemergent procedures, several systems have lost or expect to lose a large chunk of their annual revenue, forcing them to make cost reduction a top priority. 

Below is a breakdown of the hospitals that have furloughed staff in an effort to remain financially stable amid the COVID-19 pandemic. 

April 9

1. Citing severe patient volume disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, Johnson City, Tenn.-based Ballad Health plans to furlough at least 1,300 workers, cut pay for some senior leaders and suspend retirement contributions. Ballad is projecting a cash flow drop of $150 million in the next 90 days due to the suspension of elective procedures.

2. Lewiston-based Central Maine Healthcare will furlough 330 employees to help offset the revenue loss caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, according to Bangor Daily News. The furloughs affect about 10 percent of its workforce.

“Furloughs like this are one way that we can adjust and manage the balance sheet appropriately. It also allows us to do that without having to sacrifice jobs permanently, without having to end the provision of care,” Kate Carlisle, director of public relations and community affairs for Central Maine Healthcare, told the publication.

3. Oswego (N.Y.) Health will furlough 25 percent of its workforce next week, according to Syracuse.com. Health system officials said that it has been losing about $180,000 per day since the beginning of March due to the coronavirus pandemic. Oswego Health said the furloughs should last about 10 to 12 weeks.

4. Citing a revenue and patient volume dip caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, Hopkinsville, Ky.-based Jenny Stuart Health has furloughed 248 staff members, according to Kentucky New Era. The health system has about 1,000 employees.

“This is an incredibly difficult time for our health system, and this is not a decision we made lightly. I regret the immediate personal impact on these employees and their families,” Jennie Stuart Health CEO Eric Lee told the publication.

5. Marshfield (Wis.) Clinic will furlough employees who are not involved in preparing for the anticipated surge in COVID-19 patients, according to local news station WEAU.  The furloughs are expected to be temporary, and staff can be recalled at any point in time to help manage the surge, according to the report.

6. Due to the suspension of elective procedures, Ashtabula (Ohio) County Medical Center is furloughing a portion of its workforce, according to the Star Beacon. To reduce the number of employees affected by the furlough, the hospital is training some employees to support different clinical departments in anticipation of a surge of COVID-19 patients.

7. University of Kansas Health System St. Francis Campus in Topeka is laying off 29 employees and furloughing 235, according to The Topeka Capital Journal. The furloughs and layoffs are an effort to offset the financial impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. The furloughs affect about 17 percent of the hospital’s staff.

8. Holyoke, Colo.-based Melissa Memorial Hospital is placing 19 employees on furlough for about three months, according to The Holyoke Enterprise. Furloughed employees are expected to return to work on July 26. The hospital said the decision was made because revenue was down due to the suspension of elective procedures.

9. Mad River Community Hospital, a 78-bed hospital in Arcata, Calif., is placing some employees on a full or partial furlough, according to Lost Coast Outpost. Hospital officials said the move is “essential” to ensure its doors remain open after the pandemic.

10. Citing challenges due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Oklahoma City-based Integris Health plans to furlough employees not involved in direct patient care, according to News 9. The furloughs are expected to be temporary. Affected employees will still receive health insurance benefits.

11. Abilene (Texas) Regional Medical Center has placed a small number of employees on furlough, according to KTXS, an ABC affiliate. Affected employees work in areas where services have been curtailed or suspended due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

April 8

1. MUSC Health, an eight-hospital system based in Charleston, S.C., said it would temporarily lay off 900 employees, or 5 percent of its workforce, to offset the financial hit caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. The temporary layoffs, which do not affect nonclinical workers, were effective April 7.

2. Nonclinical employees at Peoria, Ill.-based OSF HealthCare will be subject to mandatory paid time off or will be furloughed, the health system said April 7. The health system said the furloughs are necessary to help offset a revenue loss caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

“It is important for the communities OSF has been called to serve for more than 142 years that we stabilize our financial position and protect our culture so we can continue to serve those communities, and our Mission Partners and their families in Illinois and Michigan,” said Mike Allen, CFO of OSF HealthCare. “Our priority remains equipping our frontlines with the resources they need to ensure the continuation of essential care, while protecting those providing that care.”

3. Citing a revenue and patient volume reduction caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, Holyoke, Mass.-based Valley Health System has furloughed 225 employees, according to Western Mass News. The furloughs affect about 11 percent of its workforce.

4. Odessa (Texas) Regional Medical Center has furloughed 60 employees to help offset a revenue loss due to the COVID-19 pandemic, CBS 7 reports. Affected employees will still receive insurance and are expected to be called back to work.

5. Medical Center Hospital in Odessa, Texas, has furloughed 30 staff members after the facility was ordered to suspend the lucrative elective procedures to save resources and staff to treat COVID-19 patients, according to CBS 7. The hospital has reassigned hospital workers to different areas, but Medical Center Hospital CEO Russell Tippin told the publication that it has been difficult.

“We’re in such a regulated industry that it’s hard,” Mr. Tippin told CBS 7. “You can’t take a pharmacist and put them in radiology. And you can’t take a radiologist and put them in pharmacy.”

6. Citing financial difficulties caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, Chillicothe, Ohio-based Adena Health System plans to furlough nonclinical workers in the coming weeks, according to a video from Adena CEO Jeff Graham.

7. In an effort to ease the financial damage caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, Amarillo, Texas-based BSA Hospital plans to furlough some of its employees for up to 90 days, according to ABC 7 Amarillo. 

8. Magnolia (Ark.) Regional Medical Center has furloughed an undisclosed number of nonclinical staff, including administrative and clerical workers, according to The Magnolia Banner News. The furloughs are expected to last at least two months. Affected staff will remain on the MRMC roster and maintain insurance, according to the report.

9. Caribou, Maine-based Cary Medical Center has furloughed a number of employees due to a drop in patient volume and revenue as a result of preparing for a COVID-19 patient surge, according to The Bangor Daily News. A majority of the furloughs affect support staff for physicians, according to the report.

10. In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Hartford, Conn.-based Trinity Health of New England plans to furlough an undisclosed number of employees, according to The Hartford Courant. The majority of the furloughs will affect nonclinical workers.

“This will enable us to focus our resources on the functions directly related to essential COVID-19 patient care needs that we anticipate, while protecting people and helping prevent the spread of the disease,” Trinity Health of New England said in a statement to The Hartford Courant. 

April 7

1. Tulsa, Okla.-based HillCrest HealthCare System will furlough 600 employees for up to 90 days, according to local news station KRMG. The furloughs affect about 9 percent of staff and are a result of a decline in routine and elective procedures due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

2. Thomas Health System in South Charleston, W.Va., plans to furlough “less than 500” employees starting this week, according to the West Virginia Gazette Mail. In announcing the furloughs, the health system cited the suspension of nonemergent procedures due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

3. Citing a decrease in patient volume and revenue due to the pandemic, Cookeville (Tenn.) Regional Medical Center has furloughed 400 employees, according to Fox 17 News. 

“The pandemic created by COVID-19 has had a devastating impact not only in our community and state but across our entire country and the world that has required each of us to make sacrifices,” the hospital said in a statement to Fox 17 News. 

4. Cape Fear Valley Health, based in Fayetteville, N.C., plans to furlough an additional 350 employees, according to The Fayetteville Observer. The health system had already furloughed about 300 employees on March 27. The health system said since the first round of furloughs, its inpatient occupancy has dropped to 60 percent.

5. Citing a revenue and patient volume drop from the COVID-19 pandemic, Washington Court House, Ohio-based Fayette County Memorial Hospital has furloughed 71 of its 352 employees, according to radio station WKKJ. The furloughs are expected to last for 30 days.

6. M Health Fairview, a 10-hospital system in Minneapolis, is asking physicians, nurse practitioners and physician assistants in some clinics to volunteer to take a week of unpaid leave as a furlough, according to The Star Tribune.The system is taking volunteers for one-week physician furloughs through May 3. Those who volunteer will still receive benefits.

7. Mountain Home, Ark.-based Baxter Regional Medical Center plans to furlough an undisclosed number of employees to ease the financial hit from a decrease in volume and increased costs to prepare for the COVID-19 pandemic, according to local news station KTLO.  The furloughs are expected to be temporary. The hospital will reevaluate if additional measures are needed or if employees can return after four weeks.

8. Joplin, Mo.-based Freeman Health System plans to furlough an undisclosed number of employees after suspending elective procedures to prepare for the anticipated surge in COVID-19 patients, according to FourStatesHomepage.com

9. Lawrence (La.) General Hospital has placed 160 staff members on a four-week furlough, according to The Eagle Tribune. Most of the furloughs, which are expected to be temporary, affect nonclinical workers. Lawrence General has about 2,000 employees.

10. Froedtert Health has furloughed some workers, according to local news station Fox 6, which spoke to furloughed nurses from the Wauwatosa, Wis.-based system on the condition of anonymity.

April 6

1. Huntington, W.Va.-based Mountain Health Network furloughed 550 employees and cut the hours of 450, according to local news station WSAZ. The furloughs are a result of the financial and resource strain prompted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

2. LRGHealthcare, based in Laconia, N.H., plans to furlough 600 employees for up to four months to cope with the financial effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, according to the Laconia Daily Sun. Affected employees will keep their medical insurance and can receive unemployment compensation.

3. Citing a 35 percent reduction in revenue due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Columbia, Tenn.-based Maury Regional Health will furlough 340 employees this week, according to The Columbia Daily Herald. Maury Regional Health employs more than 3,000.

“We are experiencing unprecedented events as the COVID-19 pandemic evolves. After much deliberation, we were forced to make the difficult decision to furlough employees in the face of declining volumes and revenue. We plan to begin calling back employees as patient volumes normalize,” Maury Regional CEO Alan Watson told the Daily Herald.

4. Franklin, Tenn.-based Williamson Medical Center will furlough 200 employees due to a loss in revenue attributed to the COVID-19 pandemic and government mandates to postpone elective procedures, according to The Tenneseean. The furloughs, which began taking place April 1, are expected to be temporary.

5. Coos Bay, Ore.-based North Bend Medical Center has furloughed 130 employees to prepare for the novel coronavirus pandemic, according to TheWorldLink.com. The medical center is still providing insurance to the furloughed workers.

6. Citing a $16 million revenue loss in March due to the postponement of elective procedures, Sarasota (Fla.) Memorial Hospital will furlough an undisclosed number of employees, according to local news station WUSF. The hospital, which has 6,400 employees, expects to lose even more revenue in April and May due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

7. Citing a revenue dip from suspending nonemergent procedures, Miami-based Jackson Health System will furlough employees not directly caring for patients, according to the Miami Herald. The system will also cut pay for management.

“Our revenues have been devastated by the cancellation of so much non-emergency patient care, and it’s not clear when federal relief dollars will arrive or whether they will fill the gap,” Carlos Migoya, CEO of Jackson Health System, said in a memo obtained by the Miami Herald. 

8. Dayton, Ohio-based Premier Health will furlough an undisclosed number of employees due to an anticipated financial hit from Ohio’s interim ban on nonessential surgeries, according to The Dayton Business Journal. The furloughs will affect employees that are not providing patient care.

9. Due to a loss in revenue and patient volume, Conway (S.C.) Medical Center plans to furlough about 100 employees who are not frontline care providers, according to WMBF. The hospital said the mandate on suspending elective procedures caused the revenue and volume drop.

April 3

1. Burlington, Mass.-based Wellforce, which includes four community hospitals, one academic medical center and a children’s hospital, has furloughed 719 workers, according to the Boston Business Journal. The affected employees will be furloughed for at least 90 days to help the system deal with the drastic volume decrease from suspending elective procedures. In addition, 1,236 employees will have their hours and pay reduced, according to the report.

2. Citing financial uncertainty due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Dallas-based Tenet Healthcare will furlough 500 workers. Affected employees are full-time staff not involved in clinical care. They will not receive pay, but will have health insurance.

3. Southbridge, Mass.-based Harrington Healthcare has furloughed 131 employees across its network this week, according to MassLive. About 20 of the 131 affected employees were “partially furloughed,” meaning their hours were significantly reduced, according to the report. Chris Canniff, the company’s vice president of administration and human resources, said the provider has seen a 50 percent decline in patient volume amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Furloughed employees will not be paid for four weeks.

4. Seattle-based Virginia Mason Medical Center said it has seen a 30 percent decline in revenue since the COVID-19 pandemic started and Gov. Jay Inslee ordered hospitals to suspend elective procedures. As a result, the system is furloughing an undisclosed number of employees, according to local station K5 News. Most of the affected employees are in nonclinical roles.

“We rely substantially on outpatient revenue to ensure our financial viability,” wrote medical center executives in an internal memo to Virginia Mason leaders obtained by K5 News. “This is an unprecedented time and it calls for drastic measures.”

5. Citing drastic revenue decreases and increased expenses, Columbus, Ohio-based Mount Carmel Health System will furlough nonclinical staff, according to ABC 6. The health system said fewer than 500 employees will be affected. The system employs more than 10,000. In addition to the furloughs, the health system is implementing pay cuts for executives and physicians, according to the report.

6. Atlantic City, N.J.-based AtlantiCare has furloughed some of its workers due to the COVID-19 pandemic, according to NJ.com. In addition, the system has asked staff members, including nurses and physicians, to voluntarily take a furlough or a reduction in their hours, according to Press of Atlantic City. The staffing changes began taking place March 30. The changes are considered temporary, and affected employees will keep their benefits.

7. Citing a drop in patient revenue due to government mandates to help the COVID-19 pandemic, Dayton, Ohio-based Kettering Health Network is placing some of its employees on furlough, according to the Dayton Business Journal. 

8. New Bedford, Mass.-based Southcoast Health will furlough some staff not actively involved in patient care efforts because the health system is absorbing a deep revenue hit, according to Southcoast Today. The health system will pay a portion of furloughed employees’ insurance premiums through June 30.

April 2

1. Livonia, Mich.-based Trinity Health plans to furlough 2,500 employees. The system made the decision to help offset the financial hit from COVID-19. Most of the affected employees are in nonclinical roles.

2. Boston Medical Center is furloughing 700 staff members, or 10 percent of its workforce, due to financial losses from the COVID-19 pandemic. Kate Walsh, CEO of Boston Medical Center, told The Globe that the hospital has lost about $5 million in revenue per week, and that the furloughs will help save the system about $1 million per week.

3. Citing a revenue hit from the COVID-19 pandemic, Cincinnati-based Bon Secours Mercy Health will furlough 700 employees and freeze wages of all nonclinical personnel. The furloughs are expected to begin next week and last 30 to 90 days, depending on how long the pandemic lasts, according to Bon Secours Mercy Health CEO John Starcher. Bon Secours Mercy Health estimates it will see an operating loss of at least $100 million per month while the pandemic lasts.

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

5. Hartford-based Connecticut Children’s Medical Center is furloughing 400 employees across its system due to the expected financial hit from COVID-19, according to The Hartford Courant. The system said its patient volume has been cut in half due to halting elective procedures. Furloughed employees are mainly nonclinical workers, and are expected to return to work in early June, or when elective procedures can resume.

6. Clay County Medical Center, a 25-bed hospital in Clay Center, Kan., has furloughed 25 percent of its staff in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, according to The Clay Center Dispatch. It has about 300 employees, according to its website.

7. Williamson Medical Center in Franklin, Tenn., will temporarily furlough 200 employees to sustain its financial resources during the COVID-19 pandemic.

8. Dallas-based Steward Health Care is informing employees to expect furloughs at its facilities across the U.S. as the system works to overcome the “seismic shock” of the COVID-19 pandemic. The health system said it has started a temporary furlough program for some employees of its hospitals in nine states. Most affected staff work in nonclinical jobs.

9. Huntsville (Ala.) Hospital, faced with expenses and a loss of revenue due to the novel coronavirus, has implemented a cost reduction plan that includes furloughs, according to AL.com. Huntsville Hospital CEO David Spillers declined to share specifics about the number of staff members affected, but said the furloughs and cuts are mainly hospital contractors and support staff.

10. Syracuse, N.Y.-based St. Joseph Health plans to furlough an undisclosed number of workers as it prepares to deal with an “unprecedented fiscal fallout” from the COVID-19 pandemic, Syracuse.com reports. St. Joseph Health will also cut pay for senior management.

11. Baptist Health in Little Rock, Ark., has started furloughing an undisclosed number of employees this week to address an expected revenue loss from the pandemic.

12. Little Rock-based Arkansas Heart Hospital has furloughed workers due to the interruption of normal hospital operations.

March 27 to April 1

1. Citing the financial hit from the COVID-19 pandemic, Greenville, S.C.-based Prisma Health said it will furlough an undisclosed number of clinical, corporate and administrative workers.

2. Chattanooga, Tenn.-based Erlanger Health System said it is implementing a cost-reduction plan that includes furloughs and pay reductions for leadership. The moves were prompted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Administrative employees also are affected by the furlough.

3. Appalachian Regional Healthcare, a 13-hospital system in Lexington, Ky., will furlough about 500 employees due to a sharp reduction in business and revenue.  In addition to the financial aspect, Appalachian Regional said its decision was to protect employees not involved in direct patient care from contracting the novel virus and ensure that the health system has enough supplies to treat the anticipated surge of COVID-19 patients.

4. Cleveland-based St. Vincent Charity Medical Center has furloughed about 70 employees amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Affected employees include nurses, surgical assistants, clerical and other support staff.

5. 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.

6. Astoria, Ore.-based Columbia Memorial Hospital has furloughed 90 of its 740 employees after the facility scaled back nonemergent procedures to concentrate on the coronavirus.

7. Citing the spreading and unforgiving demands of the COVID-19 pandemic, Canton, Ohio-based Mercy Medical Center has furloughed workers. The move came shortly after the state ordered hospitals to suspend elective surgeries and procedures to free up capacity and supplies to treat COVID-19 patients.The number of staff affected was not disclosed.

8. Meadville (Pa.) Medical Centehas furloughed more than 225 employees to ensure the hospital’s financial stability. The hospital said the furlough is expected to last through April 5, but warned an extension is possible if the pandemic continues to affect business operations and revenue.

9. To help the system survive the economic challenges linked to the COVID-19 pandemic, Rockford, Ill.-based Mercyhealth has furloughed an undisclosed number of employees who are not providing direct patient care.

10. 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.

 

 

 

Updated COVID-19 projections are out: The new peak dates in each state

https://www.beckershospitalreview.com/patient-flow/updated-covid-19-projections-are-out-the-new-peak-dates-in-each-state.html?utm_medium=email

COVID-19 state-by-state forecast | WCHS

Peak demand for hospital resources due to COVID-19 is expected this week in the U.S., according to updated projections from the University of Washington’s Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation in Seattle. 

The model, first released in late March, presents estimates of predicted health service utilization and deaths due to COVID-19 for each state in the U.S. if social distancing measures are maintained through May. Researchers used state-level hospital capacity data, data on confirmed COVID-19 deaths from the World Health Organization, and observed COVID-19 utilization from select locations.

When IHME first released its model, the only place where the number of daily deaths had already peaked was Wuhan, China. The data from Wuhan formed the basis for IHME’s estimation of the time from implementation of social distancing policies to the peak day of deaths. That estimation is now based on data from Wuhan and seven locations in Spain and Italy where the number of daily deaths appears to be peaking or to have peaked. The model has also been updated to use three different weighting schemes to better approximate the variation in potential policy impact across social distancing mandates.

Projections for peak demand for resources, namely hospital beds and ventilators, also changed after IHME incorporated new data sources into its model and made changes to its analytical framework. Access more information about the changes here.

According to the most recent projections, which use data updated April 8, peak demand for hospital resources will occur at the national level on April 11. However, this varies by state. Below is the projected date of peak demand for hospital beds, ICU beds and ventilators in each state according to the IHME model. 

April 1
Vermont

April 2
Washington

April 4
Louisiana

April 7
Michigan

April 8
Colorado
New York
Ohio

April 9
Delaware
District of Columbia

April 11
Illinois
New Jersey

April 12
Hawaii

April 13
California
Pennsylvania
Wisconsin

April 14
Idaho
Indiana

April 15
North Carolina
West Virginia

April 16
Mississippi
New Hampshire

April 17
Alaska
Maine
Maryland
Nevada
Tennessee

April 20
Alabama
Georgia
Kansas
Massachusetts
Montana
Virginia

April 21
Connecticut
Florida
Kentucky
Missouri
New Mexico
North Dakota

April 22
Arizona
Oregon
Texas

April 23
Minnesota
Oklahoma

April 24
South Carolina

April 25
Arkansas
Rhode Island
Utah

April 26
Nebraska

April 27
Iowa
South Dakota

April 29
Wyoming

 

 

Coronavirus-wracked nursing home evacuated after most of staff failed to show for two days

https://www.washingtonpost.com/nation/2020/04/09/california-nursing-home-coronavirus/?fbclid=IwAR2qdVFKS7o1m5NgYcx2_brXqGxqxrrlcO52cD9Xxd4l_FSZDaKUwyputu8&utm_campaign=wp_main&utm_medium=social&utm_source=facebook

Coronavirus-wracked California nursing home evacuated after staff ...

A California nursing home where dozens have tested positive for the novel coronavirus was forced to evacuate Wednesday after a majority of its staff failed to show up to work for the second consecutive day, according to public health officials.

People decked out in masks, gloves and protective gowns could be seen wheeling residents of the Magnolia Rehabilitation & Nursing Center in Riverside, Calif., one by one on stretchers to ambulances that would take them to other care facilities in the area.

“We have a large vulnerable population at any of our long-term-care facilities, and we want to make sure those people are taken care of,” he said.

Nursing homes and other long-term-care centers nationwide have been hit particularly hard by the coronavirus, which poses much higher risks to elderly people and those with underlying health conditions. In recent months, facilities have reported struggling to contain the spread of covid-19 among patients, with staff growing increasingly concerned about becoming exposed to the virus themselves due to shortages of personal protective equipment.

Riverside County officials say they do not yet know why many of Magnolia’s staff members stopped reporting for duty. As of Wednesday, Kaiser said his office had not received any complaints from the staff about working conditions at the 90-bed center, which bills itself as “one of the finest skilled nursing facilities in Riverside, California.”

But no matter how justified the reasoning may be, Kaiser said he is concerned that the employees’ actions “could rise to the level of abandonment.”

“Nationwide, all of our health-care workers are considered heroes, and they rightly are,” he said. “But implicit in that heroism is that people stay at their posts.”

Officials learned something was amiss Monday when they received a notice that the Riverside facility “had made a large staffing request for the next day which was considered an unusual event,” Kaiser said. The request came just days after testing confirmed an outbreak of covid-19 at the center.

Upon contacting the nursing home, Kaiser said he was informed that a “substantial portion” of employees had not come in for their shifts.

On Tuesday, only one certified nursing assistant out of the 13 scheduled to work showed up, which prompted facilities nearby to send more than 30 of their own nurses to the center, according to a news release from the county.

The staffing problem persisted into Wednesday morning, Kaiser said at the news conference, leaving him with no choice but to order the evacuation “to safeguard the well-being of the residents and ensure appropriate continuity of care.” According to the most recent figures, Riverside County has 1,179 confirmed cases of the coronavirus, with 32 reported deaths.

Bruce Barton, director of the county’s emergency management department, told reporters that Wednesday’s operation involved 53 ambulances as well as assistance from the fire department and police.

The Southern California county isn’t alone in its struggles to care for its vulnerable residents amid the pandemic.

Since the coronavirus reached the United States, reports of nursing homes and eldercare facilities becoming overwhelmed by outbreaks have surfaced regularly.

Last month, a senior-care center in New Jersey relocated all 94 of its residents following a covid-19 outbreak that also sickened several workers, causing critical staffing shortages. Meanwhile, the CEO of a company running several eldercare facilities in New York, the epicenter of the U.S. outbreak, started advising family members to take their loved ones home if possible, NBC News reported this month.

The Seattle Times reported Wednesday that at least 137 long-term-care facilities in Washington state had residents test positive for the virus. More than 200 deaths have been linked to them, according to the Times, about half the total fatalities in the state from covid-19.

On Wednesday, as patients from the Riverside center were still waiting to be transported, Barton issued a plea to health-care workers for assistance.

“We are in immediate need for help to care for our most vulnerable patients,” he said. “We will provide full PPE. We will pay you and provide malpractice. The facilities you work in will be clean. We have an amazing team that is working on this night and day. Please come join us.”