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Minneapolis (KROC AM News)  -  A top Minnesota health care provider has decided to ban most visitors at its hospitals, clinics, and other sites until further notice.

Allina Health blames the decision to return to its Red Visitor Status on the current covid surge, which is having a large impact on its staffing levels.

Abbot Northwestern, member of Allina Health system - Google

In making the announcement, Allina says it “has never seen a community illness impact patients and staff to the levels COVID-19 is currently. “ And, Allina expects the surge to worsen before the end of the month.

Allina says the surge “has sharply increased pressure on the communities we serve and on an already strained system dealing with staffing shortages.” Allina says “In the first five days of 2022, an average of more than 100 staff members per day were removed from work because they were COVID-19 positive or awaiting tests/test results.

“The weariness among healthcare workers and the general public is profound. We empathize and are hopeful 2022 will bring a turning point in this pandemic; however, we need the public to help those who care for us,” said Hsieng Su, MD, Allina Health senior vice president and chief medical executive. “The Omicron variant appears to sharply spike and then decline. According to the models, things will likely get worse later in January before we see them get better. We need everyone working together to get through this peak.”

Allina is based in Minneapolis and operates and/or operates 12 hospitals and more than 90 clinics throughout Minnesota and western Wisconsin and employs nearly 30,000 workers.

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