COVID-19 Update: Both Abilene hospitals fight furloughs, Hendrick begins processing tests in house


ABILENE, Texas (KTAB/KRBC) – During the COVID-19 pandemic, both Abilene hospitals say they are fighting to keep their staff on board, and Hendrick Medical Center has begun processing tests in-house.

The CEOs of Hendrick Medical Center and Abilene Regional Medical Center, Brad Holland and Mike Murphy, participated in a joint press conference with other city leaders Wednesday to give an overview on how their hospitals are operating due to the novel coronavirus.

Holland says Hendrick, although okay for right now, is taking a big financial hit due to elective procedures being suspended.

He and Murphy say they are working to fight against furloughs and laying off staff, making that the absolute last possibility.

Right now, some staff may be experiencing reduced hours due to lack of workflow from the suspension of elected procedures, but Murphy says they will get at least enough hours to cover their benefits.

However, many employees at Abilene Regional are being repurposed to work in different parts of the hosptial – screening, testing, and prepping for COVID-19.

Hendrick preparations for COVID-19 include isolating potential virus patients on a floor separate from the rest of the hospital.

They are also protecting employees and patients by requiring all staff to wear masks while on campus.

As of last week, Hendrick Medical Center became the first lab to process COVID-19 test results in Abilene, running an average of 20 tests per day.

They now have the ability to screen, test, process, and hospitalize COVID-19 patients all in one day, if necessary.

The test result time for Abilene Regional Medical Center is still a few days to a week because they, like other doctor’s offices around the City, have to send the tests to a 3rd party lab for processing.

Watch full press conference

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