More than 900 Mayo Clinic employees diagnosed Covid-19 over two weeks in the Midwest

That’s roughly 30% of the total number that have tested positive since March.

“Our employees are mainly infected from the community spread (93% of employee infections). This affects our ability to care for patients,” Kelley Luckstein wrote in an email to CNN on Wednesday.

Across the Midwest, the Mayo Clinic currently employs approximately 1,500 people with work restrictions related to Covid-19 exposures or diagnoses, Luckstein said.

The Midwest Mayo Clinic System consists of clinics, hospitals, and other facilities that care for patients in Iowa, Minnesota, and Wisconsin. Midwestern states were hit particularly hard in the last round of Covid-19 cases. The Minnesota governor announced new measures to contain the spread this week, and the Wisconsin governor declared a new state of emergency.

In Iowa, Governor Kim Reynolds overcame her previous opposition to mask mandates and announced a new health regime that requires masks to be used indoors Hospitals have been marginalized as the virus spread.

Like other healthcare systems, the Mayo Clinic has not been spared the devastating effects of the pandemic.

“There are three things you need to take care of any patient,” said Dr. Amy Williams, the senior dean of the Mayo Clinic practice, in a Covid-19 update this week. “Space, supplies and staff. And what worries us most is the staff.”

Employees are primarily exposed and infected with the virus in the community, Williams said. And while some Americans may be tired of hearing about safety precautions like wearing masks and washing your hands regularly, it is important to keep taking those precautions as the virus continues to spread across the country, she said.

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“We do this because we care about our communities,” Williams said in the update. “We don’t want families to get sick. We don’t want families to lose loved ones. We want everyone to be safe. We’ll get through this, but we have to be safe, we have to protect each other.”

“We need your help and we need it now.”

Parts of the health system have already been overwhelmed by the increase in patients, while other institutions prepare for what is to come.

In northwest Wisconsin, the Mayo Clinic healthcare system announced last week that 100% of hospital beds were full.

“The public urgently needs to treat COVID-19 as a health emergency to prevent the health system from becoming overwhelmed,” the health system said in its statement last week.

At this point, about 50% of the capacity in the intensive care unit was occupied by Covid-19 patients, the system said in a statement. Covid-19 patients being treated in the hospital usually stay around two to three times longer than non-patients. Covid-19 patients.

“As we temporarily postpone electoral processes to clear beds for COVID-19 patients, the public needs to understand that we continue to care for other patient populations in addition to COVID patients – we remain open to trauma, emergency care and urgent care needs while caring for COVID patients. “

“We need your help and we need it now.”

Meanwhile, Williams said at a news conference this week that the Mayo Clinic is increasing its intensive care capacity at a Rochester, Minnesota hospital to cope with a surge in Covid-19 patients.

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She added the system expects hospitalization rates to increase over the next two to four weeks.

“We continue to see an increase in the number of patients in our communities receiving Covid-19. We continue to see this leading to more and more hospitalizations,” she said in one Video update.

In the video update, Williams said more patients are being referred to the Mayo Clinic from hospitals outside the health care system.

“Which just tells us that hospitals elsewhere, in Minnesota, in Iowa, in the Dakotas, in the surrounding states, are overwhelmed by this surge.”

CNN’s Kay Jones, Adrienne Broaddus and Brad Parks contributed to this report.

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