Minnesota hospitals urge adherence to guidelines to limit community spread
Hospitals say they are facing problems with staffing as thousands of health care workers are out of work because they have COVID-19 or are in quarantine.
ST. PAUL, Minn. — Minnesota Governor Tim Walz’s latest restrictions are receiving support from the state’s hospitals.
Representatives from both metro and rural hospitals spoke about the toll the surge in COVID-19 cases is taking on their facilities.
Some hospitals say they have had to turn patients away or have had to stop both elective and non-elective surgeries.
The biggest problem for hospitals is staffing as thousands of health care workers cannot be at work because they either have COVID-19, are in quarantine or are taking care of family members with the virus.
“Recently we have had more than 10% of our staff out. That is 1,200 people for us in rural Minnesota,” revealed Cindy Firkins Smith, the President and Co-CEO of Carris Health. “We don’t have anybody to replace those people. We could have piles of PPE and hundreds of beds and none of that matters if we don’t have the people to care for our patients.”
Over 19,000 health care workers have tested positive for COVID-19 in Minnesota.