Nov 19, 2020 4:25 PM

Welch: Sickness among workers that they got in community could impact patient care

Posted Nov 19, 2020 4:25 PM

By NICK GOSNELL

Hutch Post

HUTCHINSON, Kan. — Chuck Welch with Hutchinson Regional Healthcare System notes that COVID-19 is impacting them from an HR standpoint.

"Currently, we have 38 of our employees that are out and 11 more of those are awaiting COVID results," Welch said. "That could be in the neighborhood of 45 to 50 employees that could be out and that just compounds, I guess, the situation that we're facing."

The virus is not spreading within the hospital, as far as they can determine.

"We do everything we can to isolate those COVID patients away from the general population," Welch said. "To our knowledge, we've never had a patient that has come in with a primary diagnosis of, let's say, a heart attack, only to show up, you know, a week later with COVID while they're in the hospital and we are working diligently every day to keep that from happening."

The people getting sick are frontline workers.

"Better than half of the 38 that I told you that are sick, the majority of those are health care providers," Welch said.

It's important for community members to take all the appropriate precautions, because healthcare providers have to get groceries and gas and want to see their kids play, too.

"We know that because our health care providers live in the community, that's typically where they're going to pick it up," Welch said. "If we can just space out their illness, allow them to get better and then to come back to work while the next group gets sick, you know, we're doing everything we can to do that."

Hutchinson Regional Medical Center has approximately 900 employees.