Anne Arundel Medical Center has furloughed 1,000 employees while some of its remaining staff treat coronavirus patients.
The Annapolis hospital canceled elective surgeries in accordance with federal guidelines and have decreased ambulatory service staff due to low patient demand, spokeswoman Arminta Plater said.
“Over the past several weeks, we have had to make difficult decisions regarding how we staff our health system to confront the challenges presented by the global pandemic. This has included staff furloughs,” Plater said.
Many of those furloughed will be redeployed to other areas of the hospital through its Resource Deployment Center, Plater said.
We plan to redeploy many of those who are furloughed through our Resource Deployment Center, where we are assigning eligible staff members to new areas based on operational needs. We have trained and redeployed hundreds of staff to support the expected COVID-19 surges in the state of Maryland.
All furloughed employees received 80 hours of pay and those who are enrolled and eligible for benefits will remain on the plan through June 30, Plater said.
“These furloughs do not impact our commitment or ability to safely supply and equip our hospitals to combat COVID-19,” Plater said. “They do not change our commitment to our employees or our ability to care for patients and community members with non-COVID related illnesses.”
The medical center’s announcement comes as Anne Arundel County’s cases rise past 1,400. The virus has killed more than 60 in the county as of Saturday. Hospitals like Anne Arundel Medical Center and Baltimore Washington Medical Center have been on the frontlines fighting the virus. The two organizations have expanded hospital bed access with AAMC putting up exterior tents for patients.
Frontline workers like nurses, doctors and even janitors have been battling the coronavirus since it landed in Maryland. County residents have tried to repay with events and parade. AAMC recently received a socially-distant visit from well-wishers. BWMC received enough food to feed more than 300 staff members from USA Cheerleaders.
The Capital reached out to BWMC and asked if its staff was being impacted similarily to AAMC.
“We are not doing the same,” said Kevin Cservek, BWMC spokesman.
If anyone furloughed wishes to talk about their experience or how they are being redeployed, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Assistant content editor Chase Cook contributed to this report.