FAYETTEVILLE, N.C. (WTVD) -- Cape Fear Valley Health said it will temporarily furlough approximately 300 employees on Sunday, March 29.
The health system said it temporarily closed some services and rescheduled non-essential surgeries and procedures to minimize the risk of spreading COVID-19 among patients and healthcare providers.
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Because of the closures, officials said the Emergency Department has decreased by about 25 percent. Inpatient occupancy is currently 66 percent, a substantial change from the medical center's total occupancy.
Officials said nurses and nursing assistants in affected areas will be offered needed temporary positions at the health system's hospitals as the number of COVID-19 cases increase.
Full-time employees will continue to receive their health insurance benefits, including family coverage if elected at benefit enrollment.
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"This reduction in occupancy will help the medical center accommodate the surge expected in the days ahead," Michael Nagowski, Cape Fear Valley Health CEO wrote in a news release. "We are grateful to the community for their efforts to stay home and practice social distancing."
ABC11 checked with other hospitals to see whether there were similar plans in place. UNC Rex Hospitals said it had no furloughs at this time.
300 Cape Fear Valley Health employees temporarily furloughed as focus shifts to COVID-19 efforts