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Maury Regional Health furloughs 340 employees amid COVID-19 pandemic

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Posted at 4:27 PM, Apr 03, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-03 17:27:40-04

COLUMBIA, Tenn. (WTVF) — Maury Regional Health will place 340 employees on furlough due to a loss of revenue during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The hospital said it has seen a 35% decrease in revenue due to mandated cancellations of nonessential surgeries and declining outpatient visits.

The employees will begin furlough next week for an undetermined length of time.

"We have an extraordinary team of professionals at Maury Regional Health and I am grateful for their dedication to our organization and our community," said Alan Watson, Maury Regional Health CEO. "We are experiencing unprecedented events as the COVID-19 pandemic evolves. After much deliberation, we were forced to make the difficult decision to furlough employees in the face of declining volumes and revenue. We plan to begin calling back employees as patient volumes normalize."

Maury Regional Health employs more than 3,000 people in hospitals in Columbia, Lewisburg and Waynesboro, as well as, practices and outpatient facilities across the county.

The hospital system will remain fully-staffed in the areas directly treating COVID-19 patients.

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What is COVID-19 (a.k.a. the new coronavirus?)

According to the World Health Organization, coronaviruses (CoV) are a large family of viruses that cause illness ranging from the common cold to more severe diseases. Examples include the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS-CoV) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS-CoV). A novel coronavirus (nCoV) is a new strain that has not been previously identified in humans. COVID-19 stands for "Coronavirus disease 2019," which is when this strain of the coronavirus was discovered.

What are the symptoms?

The CDC says patients confirmed to have the 2019-nCoV reportedly had mild to severe respiratory illness with:

  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing

Or at least two of the following symptoms:

  • Fever
  • Chills
  • Repeated shaking with chills
  • Muscle pain
  • Headache
  • Sore throat
  • New loss of taste or smell

At this time, the CDC believes symptoms could appear as soon as two days after exposure, or as long as 14 days.

Prevention

The CDC is recommending "common sense" measures such as:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a cloth face cover when around others.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.