• 75°

Bon Secours announces furloughs

Bon Secours Mercy Health, which operates hospitals in Richmond and Hampton Roads, including the Bon Secours Health Center at Harbour View in Suffolk, plans to temporarily furlough or shift workers not directly working on responding to COVID-19.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has caused an unprecedented demand for health care services. Simultaneously, the COVID-19 pandemic has caused an unprecedented decline in services and other work within our ministry,” the company wrote in a news release Tuesday.

The temporarily furloughs are expected to last 30 to 90 days, according to the company, with affected employees being paid for work through Friday. They will also be able to use personal time off hours until that is used up.

The Bon Secours Mercy Health Foundation has also put $60 million toward its associate emergency fund to help employees with serious financial challenges.

“Our ministry is acting quickly to redeploy or temporarily furlough associates who are unable to work due to temporary closure, cancellation and low census in primary care, outpatient and surgical services,” the company stated. “This will also affect many support services who are not directly working on COVID-19 activities.”

It said their decisions “will help our ministry preserve life and provide vital health care services” for patients that need it while preserving resources.

The Harbour View facility operates as a department of the Maryview Medical Center in Portsmouth. Bon Secours also operates the DePaul Medical Center in Norfolk and Mary Immaculate Hospital in Newport News. The company also acquired Southampton Memorial Hospital last fall.

Bon Secours has suspended all COVID-19-related patient statements and billing, and is not asking for any upfront payments at the time of service should someone receive screening, testing or treatment related to COVID-19.