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Expected staffing shortages could hit rural hospitals hard

Coronavirus in Kansas

Stethoscope (Courtesy: Pixabay)

BELLE PLAINE, Kan. (AP) — Medical providers say anticipated staffing shortages amid surging coronavirus cases could hit rural hospitals especially hard because smaller communities have more limited options for finding providers to cover for sick workers.

The Kansas Hospital Association reports that about 44% of the state’s hospitals on Monday were anticipating staffing shortages this week amid an expected rise in COVID-19 cases following the Thanksgiving holiday.

Five rural Kansas counties — Rush, Republic, Ellsworth, Rawlins and Kearny — rank in the top 25 counties in the nation with the new cases per capita in the past 14 days.

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