Sanford Bemidji has responded to the claims the Minnesota Nurses Association is making as they prepare an informational picket this upcoming Tuesday.
According to Vice President of Nursing Joy Johnson, there have not been any hospitalized patients of COVID-19 so far at Sanford Bemidji.
The Minnesota Nurses Association, in their release, says off-duty nurses will rally Tuesday to protest retaliation against workers who tried to protect themselves from the COVID-19 virus.
According to the MNA, one RN has been placed on administrative leave for attempting to arrange alternative housing for quarantining healthcare workers.
Johnson at Sanford says nights at hotel rooms for workers would generally be at the workers’ expense, as they typically do not pay for employee housing.
Johnson also said that Sanford is following the CDC guidelines for PPE. To date, there have been 1,130 COVID tests administered at Sanford Bemidji, with ten positives.
Sanford Bemidji has not furloughed or laid off any of their staff, and have instead “upskilled” them, Johnson says, reassigning staff to other duties.
There have been some instances of reduced hours among hourly employees, but Sanford Health of Northern Minnesota CEO and President Susan Jarvis in a presentation earlier this month said that about 20-30 employees have been affected each pay period.
The MNA says the picket, this Tuesday from 4 to 6 p.m. outside Sanford Bemidji, is informational and it is not a strike or work stoppage, and only off-duty nurses will attend.
Further comment from the MNA was not available by press time.
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