At this time of the COVID-19 pandemic, 36-thousand Minnesota health care workers have filed for unemployment. An executive order signed by Governor Walz delayed elective care and surgeries. That has caused many health care organizations to announce furloughs, pay cuts, and staff reductions. Minnesota Department of Health director Jan Malcom admits it was an unintended consequence.

“It made a lot of sense in terms of preparing to provide more intensive care capacity,” said Malcom. “Unfortunately health care workers not involved in building up ICU capacity are waiting in the wings so to speak.”

Malcom says the order was suggested by health care companies to make sure they could be as prepared as possible for a potential surge in COVID-19 patients. Over ten percent of Minnesotans that have applied for unemployment since March 16th are in the health care industry.