900 Mayo Clinic staffers diagnosed with coronavirus over last two weeks
22 November, 2020, 05:16
Throughout the Midwest, Mayo Clinic now has about 1,500 employees with work restrictions related to either exposure to Covid-19 or diagnosis, Lockstein said.
A spokesperson for Mayo Clinic told NBC News in an email that the number - only from the nationwide medical system's Minnesota and Wisconsin locations - comprised nearly one-third of the 2,981 coronavirus cases among its Midwest staff since the start of the pandemic in March.
While patients in the hospital are of the utmost concern, Williams continues to worry about staff and said they are extremely important in treating positive COVID patients. "This affects our ability to care for patients", Kelley Luckstein wrote in an email to CNN on Wednesday. She says the high demand is putting a strain on the healthcare system as is the spread of the virus among Mayo Clinic staff and their families. "And what we are most anxious about is staff". And while some Americans may be getting exhausted of hearing about safety measures like wearing masks and regularly washing hands, it's important to continue taking those precautions as the virus continues spreading rampantly throughout the country, she said.
"We're doing this because we care about our communities", Williams said in the update. We do not want families to lose loved ones. "We'll get through this, but we have to be safe, we have to protect each other".
"The public urgently needs to treat COVID-19 as a health emergency to prevent the healthcare system from becoming overwhelmed", the health system said in a statement last week.
To help with staffing shortages in the Midwest, the Mayo Clinic is recruiting health care workers back from recent retirement, bringing in staff from other sites (primarily Arizona), temporarily moving research nurses into patient care roles and reducing elective care to redeploy staff to COVID-19 patients, officials said.
In northwest Wisconsin, the Mayo Clinic Health System said last week that 100% of hospital beds were full. In preparation, the Mayo Clinic Hospital's Saint Marys Campus in Rochester is increasing the number of medical beds to care for patients with and without COVID-19, Williams said.
She added that the system is expected to witness a jump in hospitalization rates during the next two to four weeks.
"All of our hospitals are really stretched", Williams said.
"What we are most anxious about is staff, because we see our staff being exposed and getting COVID-19, mostly in the community".
Dr. Amy Williams, dean of clinical practices at the multi-state hospital system, announced the number on Tuesday at a press briefing.
"Which just tells us hospitals elsewhere, in Minnesota, in Iowa, in the Dakotas, in surrounding states, are overwhelmed because of this surge".