Erlanger Health System has brought back furloughed staff and restored work schedules that were pared back due to cut costs during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Chattanooga, Tenn.-based health system also plans to restore in August leadership salaries that had been lowered due to the pandemic. On July 28, Erlanger will restore paid time off accrual and it will bring back retirement plan contributions starting July 26.
Erlanger's CEO, Dr. Will Jackson, made the announcement in an email to staff members on Monday. His salary, cut by 15% in March, will be restored Aug. 23. Other administrative leaders' salaries were cut between 5% and 10%, according to the Chattanooga Times Free Press. Those will be restored Aug. 9.
Suspending elective procedures in March caused Erlanger's revenue to plummet up to 40% in days. Jackson emphasized there is still a great deal of uncertainty surrounding COVID-19.
"As such, each of us must continue to act thoughtfully and decisively as conditions warrant, including the possibility of another potential surge of this crippling pandemic," he said.
Cases of COVID-19 have been steadily rising in Tennessee since March. The state saw an 83% increase in cases over the past month, from 19,500 total cases as of May 22 to 35,600 as of June 22, health department data show. Hamilton County, where Chattanooga is located, had 2,103 confirmed cases as of June 22, the third highest across Tennessee counties.