Bakersfield · Fresno

Amid pandemic, Valley hospitals not immune from coronavirus layoffs

As California’s shelter-in-place order enters its fifth week, it appears that not even Valley hospitals are coronavirus recession-proof.

Two Valley hospitals – Saint Agnes Medical Center in Fresno and Adventist Health in Bakersfield – announced a round of furloughs at the end of the week.

Saint Agnes announced Friday that approximately 175 employees across the hospital’s various units would be furloughed.

Meanwhile, Adventist Health Bakersfield announced its furlough of 53 employees and a permanent layoff of two additional employees on Thursday.

A key component to the furloughing of hospital staff is the precipitous decline in elective surgeries, which – prior to Wednesday – had been deemed non-essential services by Gov. Gavin Newsom to ensure appropriate bed space for an influx in coronavirus cases.

According to the University of Washington Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation projection, California reached its peak in hospital resources needed on April 13.

Photo: David Prasad

Alex Tavlian is the Executive Editor of The San Joaquin Valley Sun and Executive Director of Valley Future Foundation. You can reach Alex at