Coos Bay, April 20, 2020: Bay Area Hospital has been focused on standing ready to serve the community from the outset of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic by getting prepared to see an expected patient surge that has the potential to stretch the hospital’s capacity to the brink. Last week Bay Area Hospital rolled out a temporary furlough opportunity for 67 positions across select departments. At this time a total of 71 employees have signed up for a furlough, most on a volunteer basis. This furlough releases them from work for a period of 45 days. All staff will retain their health benefits and seniority. These employees will report back to work at the hospital after the agreed upon time, and may be called back with a 72-hour notice if the need arises.  

During this time Bay Area Hospital employees, physicians, and leaders have been working tirelessly to create and revise emergency plans based on the best-known science about the disease. The hospital has tested and cared for over 65 patients displaying the signs and symptoms of COVID-19.  At the time of this press release, all results have been negative. Bay Area Hospital is proud to serve this community and remain open for care in order to continue to remain open for those who need emergency or hospitalized care. 
Like hospitals around the county, Bay Area Hospital has seen a dramatic decrease in patient volumes across many service lines throughout the hospital. The loss of elective and non-urgent procedures has impacted some departments more significantly than others. As volumes dropped, we asked employees to reduce their hours. 
“We support the stay at home efforts and sacrifices being made by so many people across the region. We believe these efforts have helped us avoid a surge of patients in our community,” said Brian Moore, president & CEO at Bay Area Hospital. “We have reached a point where our employees used all of their time off, and we needed to take a different approach.” 
More employees applied for Bay Area Hospital’s voluntary furlough than were available. The hospital will make the decision about who is furloughed based on seniority, skill sets, and staffing needs within the individual departments. Those employees that are denied a furlough will remain on a waitlist should additional furloughs be offered in the future. 
 “Our staff is our most valuable resource, and we have already started to plan to support the recovery of furloughed employees,” said Moore. “As we reopen healthcare, we want to have the necessary talent to accommodate the need to address the healthcare issues that have been necessarily delayed. By offering a furlough, staff can apply for unemployment benefits instead of taking a drastic reduction in their pay due to the reduced hours worked and depleted vacation time.” 
At this time, most services at Bay Area Hospital remain operational, and when presenting for care the hospital will continue to provide the same excellence and quality in care that the community has come to expect.   
If you have questions or need additional information please contact Kelli Dion, Public Information Officer and Chief Quality Officer at (541) 269- 8185. 
Bay Area Hospital improves the health of our community every day and offers a comprehensive range of diagnostic and therapeutic services spanning medical, surgical, pediatric, critical care, home health, outpatient and acute psychiatric, oncology, obstetrical, and other specialties.