More than 900 Mayo Clinic staff members in the Midwest have been diagnosed with Kovid-19 in the past two weeks.
A spokesperson for the Mayo Clinic told NBC News in an email that the number – only from the Minnesota and Wisconsin locations of the nationwide medical system – includes about a third of 2,981 coronavirus cases among its Midwest staff since the epidemic began in March.
Ginger Plumbo said the majority of employees tested positive, about 93 percent, contracted the virus from “community spread”.
“Across the Midwest, the Mayo Clinic currently has about 1,500 employees related to COVID-19 exposure, or unable to work due to the COVID-19 diagnosis,” Plumbo said in a statement.
He said the staff shortage caused by the recent outbreak forced the medical center to reshuffle health practitioners along the lines of the state – and even recalled retired employees to service.
“We are withdrawing from the recent retirement, with research nurses temporarily working in patient care roles, bringing staff from our other sites,” said Plumbo.
He said that the Mayo Clinic was reducing voluntary care and remodeling those staff to help staff related to Kovid-19.
Amy Williams, dean of clinical practices at the Mayo Clinic, told a news conference Tuesday that the intensive care unit in Rochester, Minnesota, was at full capacity with 32 Kovid-19 patients and was hoping to expand that center by a dozen Has been Bed, St. Paul Pioneer Press reported.
“That’s not good,” Williams said. “It tells that we are on the rise.”
Williams said the recent Kovid-19 outbreak among employees was an example of how infected the virus was.
“It shows you how easy it is to get COVID-19 in the Midwest,” Williams said. “Our employees are getting infected mostly due to community prevalence, and this affects our ability to care for patients.”
“We need the communities we serve to limit the spread of COVID-19,” she urged.