AIKEN, S.C. (WJBF) – The fight against COVID-19 is starting to be felt at one local hospital.

Aiken Regional announced today that 54 of its employees will need to be furloughed in order to offset the losses experienced to its normal hospital operations.

Aiken Regional says, it has had to cancel many surgical and elective procedures in order to direct limited supplies and personnel to urgent needs. Those employees will be eligible for unemployment.

Below is the statement from Aiken Regional Medical Centers,

Aiken Regional Medical Centers continues to serve as a critical
access point in the community, delivering care for individuals experiencing medical emergencies, for time-sensitive conditions, and with severe symptoms resulting from exposure to COVID-19. However, for the safety of all patients and staff, and in order to direct limited supplies to current urgent needs, many hospital services, including surgical and elective procedures, as well as screening and diagnostic testing and other appointments, have been temporarily suspended during the pandemic.

In response to the impact on our normal hospital operations, Aiken Regional is utilizing all options for temporarily adjusting staffing capacity to current patient volumes, including flexing shifts, reducing overtime, redeploying staff, reducing engagement of contracted staff and mandatory use of paid time off. At this time, it is necessary that 54 employees be furloughed to offset the losses experienced; these individuals have been informed and are eligible for unemployment benefits subject to current state guidelines, which allows them to maintain income and to retain their company paid health and welfare benefits.