November 12, 2020

Huggins Hospital and state leaders stress the risk to healthcare staff and operations during COVID-19 spike

According to a recent letter from physician and nurse leaders across the state, the increase in COVID-19 cases poses a significant risk to healthcare employees and their ability to provide critical services to their local communities.

“This concerning increase puts our entire healthcare system at risk,” leaders emphasized in the letter. “If these trends continue, doctors, nurses, therapists, environmental services, security, food services, support staff and so many others who have been on the front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic since March will suffer additional stress and risk their own infection, illness, and mortality.”

At Huggins Hospital, teams of employees continue to plan and implement changes required for the increases demand on services due to COVID-19.

“When we operationalized our Incident Command structure in March, one of our main goals was to keep our employees safe,” said Monika O’Clair, Huggins Hospital’s Vice President of Strategy and Community Relations. “This is still our focus. If our staff get ill due to increases in community transmission, we will struggle to provide critical services. We need the help of our community in order to stop the spread and to keep our critical healthcare employees healthy and ready to care for others.”

What can the community do to help? As we approach the holidays, it is imperative for everyone to avoid in-person gatherings with those who live outside their household – even if they are close family members. Find ways to gather remotely and virtually.

If you are ill or believe you may have been exposed to someone with COVID-19, stay home. Call your primary care provider or local testing site when needed. Huggins Hospital operates a Drive Up Testing site for anyone who needs to be tested and can provide telehealth or in-person healthcare visits as needed. Visit for details for accessing care. 

While there is no way to eliminate the risk of spreading COVID-19, we can reduce the risk by continuing to wear masks, washing our hands and social distancing.

Huggins Hospital continues to adapt to get ahead of this second wave of COVID-19 as much as possible.

“We are doing everything we can to be here for you,” said Jeremy Roberge, Huggins Hospital’s President and CEO. “Any extra precaution you can take will help us stay strong and healthy. Our local communities have done fairly well throughout this pandemic so far and now is the time to be extra vigilant.”