Authorities have revealed that 905 employees at Mayo Clinic have been diagnosed with COVID-19 in the last 14 days. This number represents 93% of staff infections and seriously impacts the ability of the Mayo healthcare system in the Midwest to care for hospitalized patients. Executive dean of the Mayo Clinic Practice, Dr. Amy Williams, said 93% of the workers got infected in their various communities and not at their workplace.
The 905 coronavirus-infected workers at Mayo Clinic represent more than 30% of the entire infection cases among employees of the hospital system. The clinic has about 1,500 workers in the Midwest, but about 1,000 of these in Rochester, Minnesota, have asked to be absent from work because they need to self-isolate after exposure to COVID-19, need to care for a sick family member, or need to undergo treatment after being diagnosed with the disease.
This situation has led to an acute shortage of staffers at the clinic. To this extent, the clinic is recalling retired workers, moving employees from Arizona and other sites, redeploying research nurses into patient-care duties to meet up with the heightened surge of coronavirus cases at the clinic. Williams said what the hospital system needs most at this time is healthcare employees to beat the rise of the pandemic in its facilities and across the communities.
“There are three things you need to take care of any patient,” Dr. Amy Williams said. “Space, supplies, and staff. And what we are most worried about is the staff. Our staff is being infected mostly due to community spread, and this impacts our ability to care for patients.”
Williams urged people in hotspot communities and across the country to continually use their masks, wash their hands, and maintain physical distancing to be able to arrest the transmission of the pandemic and keep people safe.
“We’re doing this because we care about our communities,” Williams revealed. “We don’t want families to be sick. We don’t want families to lose loved ones. We want everyone to be safe. We will get through this, but we need to be safe, we need to protect each other.”
In order to deal with the rising cases of the pandemic, Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz announced that new coronavirus restrictions will be enforced so that people can remain safe in the country and beyond. He said that from Friday, gyms and indoor entertainment centers will remain closed for four weeks, and in-person dining will not be accommodated in all restaurants within this period. Private and public parties are also banned, and only family members within a household are allowed to be together as a group.