COVID-19’s Drain on Healthcare Workforce Increasingly Coming from Community Spread

November 5, 2020 by Christen Aldrich

Filed under COVID-19 for Employers, COVID-19 for the Workforce

Last modified November 6, 2020

According to this article from SC Times, COVID-19 infections across Minnesota and the country are accelerating, and CentraCare officials say it’s causing staff shortages at a time when hospitalizations for the disease are climbing.

Hospitalizations for the disease are up to double what CentraCare saw during the springtime, said Dr. George Morris, physician incident commander for the health care system’s COVID-19 response.

Patients who have COVID-19 typically require more staff to take care of them — those who are sedated or on ventilators need to be moved periodically and communications staff are needed to work with families who cannot enter the patient’s room. At the same time, more and more CentraCare staff are out of work in quarantine, either after exposure to a COVID-19 case, taking care of a family member in quarantine, or having contracted the virus themselves.

With enough PPE and over half a year of experience with the virus, it’s not their patients that are sending CentraCare workers home sick. “The exposures that we’re seeing with our staff are happening in the community,” Morris said, “or in their homes, or in local social events or activities.” Community spread of COVID-19 is “rampant,” he said.

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