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Furloughs hit AAMC; 75 employees affected by staffing changes

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This sign, donated to Abbeville Area Medical Center by Health Related Home Care, shows the feelings of gratitude and appreciation the community has for medical employees on the front lines battling the coronavirus pandemic.

Following the trend of hospitals having to cut costs amid a downturn in income, Abbeville Area Medical Center announced temporary unpaid employee furloughs and reduction in work hours.

Since the state government requested hospitals put a stop to all elective procedures, hospitals have seen a slump in the number of patients coming in while preparing for a possible surge of COVID-19 cases.

“Elective surgeries, inpatient and outpatient services such as imaging, lab and therapy services as well as physician office visits have dramatically decreased, causing a significant loss of revenue,” said Meg Davis, director of marketing, foundation and volunteer services at AAMC.

As such, the hospital announced that about 75 employees will be affected by the employment changes. Hospital, physician practice and home health staff, both clinical and non-clinical, are affected. Some are seeing reductions in hours, while others are on unpaid furloughs.

The hope, Davis said in her emailed statement, is that the furloughs might only last up to two months.

“Like many hospital systems across the state and nation, the COVID-19 pandemic has created financial challenges for Abbeville Area Medical Center,” said CEO Dean Turner in the email. “This was a difficult decision but one that was necessary not only to ensure that our hospital can continue to serve patients, but also to ensure that our employees have jobs to come back to in the next six to eight weeks, if not sooner.”

The announcement came alongside Self Regional Healthcare’s decision to furlough 650 people and have 160 leaders in the hospital system take unpaid time off. Self President and CEO Jim Pfeiffer cited a similar financial slump — income being down about 35% compared to before the coronavirus pandemic began affecting the area.

Contact staff writer Damian Dominguez at 864-634-7548 or follow on Twitter @IJDDOMINGUEZ.



Laurens County logged four more confirmed COVID-19 deaths on Wednesday, raising the number of county residents to die from the respiratory virus to 39. That does not include two Laurens County deaths listed as being probably from COVID-19.

To get tested, contact your health care provider or a local hospital, such as Self Regional Medical Center or Abbeville Area Medical Center. You may also attend a free testing clinic. Here are some that are currently planned:

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to guide daily decision-making, 8th Circuit Solicitor David Stumbo has decided to postpone first and second court appearances scheduled the week of Aug. 14 in Greenwood County.

The Greenwood County Library is closed until further notice.

Last week, medical doctors led a press conference about an ongoing pandemic. And within hours, a number of social media platforms removed footage of the event because of concerns about information shared by these medical professionals.

School boards continue to prohibit the public from physically entering their regular meetings because COVID-19 cases continue to rise across the state.

Coronavirus (COVID-19)

As the Lakelands and the country respond to the novel coronavirus pandemic, which has led to state and national emergency declarations, it is vital for everyone to have up-to-date information about the virus and its spread. As such, we're providing free access to all of our COVID-19 coverage, which is available on this page.

Here's the latest information on COVID-19 from health agencies and hospitals: