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Tenet Health Central Coast furloughs staff, remains on front lines of COVID-19 

Twin Cities hospital in Templeton.

Tenet Health Central Coast has furloughed some staff because of shelter-in-place orders and the cancellation or postponement of most elective procedures. Some hospital units are now closed or services reduced. Direct bedside nursing care for COVID-19 patients, and emergency and medically necessary care for patients with other medical conditions are not impacted.

“These actions do not impact direct bedside nursing care for COVID-19 and do not impact emergency or medically necessary care access for patients with other medical conditions,” a Tenet Health spokesperson said. “We remain appropriately staffed to provide our full support to treat patients in the Central Coast and prepare for a potential surge.”

“We are providing all furloughed employees with medical benefits support consistent with their elections and at no cost to them, covering the employee and employer contributions of premiums for medical, employee/spouse critical illness and supplemental life during this time.”

Furloughed employees have been provided with a 401(k) match so they can have that resource available. Impacted employees have also been provided with information about state unemployment benefits. Tenet Health Central Coast expects to be able to return impacted staff to service once “our core business gets back to normal,” the spokesperson said.

“We remain on the front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic, working together with our Central Coast communities to see this through.”

Hospitals across the country are faced with cutting staff due to the reduction in medical procedures and hospital stays that are a major source of revenue. An April 2 report from AP News says that federal government recently “showed 42,000 job losses in health care.” The same article also reports that the $100 billion federal relief package may help cover lost hospital revenue, “it’s not clear how the money will be distributed, or how soon, or whether it will be enough.”

The Becker Hospital Review publishes daily information about medical staff layoffs across the nation, starting on March 27.

Dallas-based Tenet Healthcare launched Tenet Health Central Coast in Oct 2019, comprised of Twin Cities Community Hospital, Sierra Vista Regional Medical Center, and Tenet’s affiliated urgent care centers, primary and specialty care clinics, and outpatient laboratory and imaging centers on the Central Coast.

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About the author: Reporter Jackie Iddings

Jackie Iddings is a contributing reporter and photographer for the Paso Robles Daily News.