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Over 900 Mayo Clinic staffers currently diagnosed with COVID-19

That number includes staff members from the Rochester campus, as well as other community hospitals across Minnesota and Wisconsin.
Credit: KARE

ROCHESTER, Minn. — In a press briefing on Tuesday, Dr. Amy Williams, executive dean of the practice at Mayo Clinic, announced that 905 Mayo Clinic staffers in Minnesota and Wisconsin have been diagnosed with COVID-19 in the last 14 days. 

That represents 30% of the total 2,981 Mayo Clinic staffers who have been diagnosed with the virus since the pandemic began in March. 

According to Williams, the number of staff members who are unable to come into work due to an exposure to COVID-19 is even higher.

“Across the Midwest, Mayo Clinic currently has approximately 1,500 staff with work restrictions related to COVID-19 exposures, or are unable to work due to a COVID-19 diagnosis," Dr. Williams said. "Our staff are being infected mostly due to community spread (93% of staff infections), and this impacts our ability to care for patients. We need everyone in the communities we serve to do their part to limit the spread of COVID-19.”

Williams added that based on increasing COVID test positivity rates in Minnesota and Wisconsin, she is concerned that hospitalizations will rise in the next four weeks, putting added pressure on the health care system.  

To take care of people with COVID-19, Williams explained that health care providers need three things: staffing, space and supplies.

"Here in Rochester, at Mayo Clinic, we have 18 ICUs," she said. "We have a lot of hospital beds, and our health system is well-positioned with beds care for their communities. But all of our hospitals are really stretched. Many are absolutely full at this time."

To help with staffing amid increasing hospitalizations, Williams said that Mayo Clinic is bringing retirees back from recent retirements, having research nurses move into patient care roles temporarily, bringing staff in from our other sites to help in the Midwest, reducing some elective care and redeploying those staff to help with the staffing issues related to COVID across the entire region. 

She stressed that to help prevent health care workers from getting exposed to the virus, community spread must be slowed, and people should remember to wear masks, social distance and follow thorough hand-washing practices.

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