Henry Mayo Newhall Hospital issued a “code triage” Monday due to staffing shortages and a large number of COVID-19 patient admissions.
Officials at Henry Mayo triggered the code after a large number of patients were admitted to the hospital to be treated for COVID-19. The hospital is caring for 95 COVID-19-positive patients as of Tuesday, according to hospital spokesman Patrick Moody.
“(Code triage) means all employees are asked to inform Human Resources of their availability to either work extra shifts or to take on a task outside of their usual job responsibilities,” said Moody. “For example, a part-time employee may take on an extra shift, an employee who is out on vacation may be able to come in, an administrative assistant might make himself available to help in the shipping and receiving department if needed, and so on.”
Although Moody said it is common for hospitals to issue the code when staffing is limited and they need “all hands on deck,” he said Henry Mayo staff are taking care of COVID-positive patients on top of patients with other needs not related to the virus.
“It is heartening that so many of our employees always respond to this kind of call to action,” Moody said.
Henry Mayo saw its highest death toll related to the virus Thursday, as five people died, bringing the hospital’s total death count to 70 since the onset of the pandemic.
Multiple positions among nursing and management staff were eliminated by Henry Mayo in the spring, citing low numbers of hospital visitations.
Nine management staff were eliminated, according to an email sent to employees in May from Henry Mayo President and CEO Roger E. Seaver, and 19 nurses were laid off in June, according to the nurses’ union.
Moody said the hospital now has multiple open job positions and encourages qualified applicants to apply.