Greenville’s two major health systems have announced furloughs amid the coronavirus outbreak that has sickened more than 1,000 people statewide.
Prisma Health began instituting furloughs on Friday, March 27. In a statement, Prisma said the furloughs were necessary due to the negative impact the COVID-19 health crisis is having on its business operations.
“The number of elective cases, which generate a major portion of our income, has decreased dramatically in the past two weeks,” the statement said. “Additionally, we are incurring significant new costs associated with the rapidly increasing number of COVID-19 patients who are seeking care.”
Prisma said the furloughs would affect a number of Prisma Health team members in every department but didn’t specify how many employees would be impacted.
“This is a rapidly evolving situation both here and across the nation, so we do not know how long it will be in effect,” Prisma said.
Bon Secours announced its furloughs on Monday, March 31, saying employees not directly working on the COVID-19 response would be temporarily furloughed.
“Our ministry is acting quickly to redeploy or temporarily furlough associates who are unable to work due to temporary closure, cancellation and low census in primary care, outpatient and surgical services,” Bon Secours said in a statement.
The temporary furlough is expected to last 30 to 90 days. Employees will be eligible for unemployment benefits, while the Bon Secours Mercy Health Foundation has provided $60 million to help workers facing serious financial challenges.
“The efforts of our entire team, combined with the tough decisions we are making today, will enable us to continue to focus on the COVID-19 response, which we expect to escalate in the coming weeks,” Bon Secours said.