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Flu Spike Delays Hospital Layoffs

A spike in flu cases in Ventura County has delayed some nursing layoffs.St. Johns Hospitals in Oxnard and Camarillo planned to lay off about 50 people by the end of this month.But hospital officials now say those nurses are being asked to stay on through February.Relatives of patients say that’s the right thing to do.Nurses facing layoffs are also eligible to apply for other openings.A hospital spokesperson issued the following statement:Consistent with hospitals throughout the Country, St. John’s Hospitals have experienced a seasonal spike in patient volumes and higher acuity patients in recent days, primarily due to the flu season. We expect this trend to continue throughout the month. As a result, we are delaying the reduction in force until the end of February. We are meeting with affected employees and our unions to better understand their interest in any positions that may be open instead of being laid off. The number of affected employees is less than 50 but can be substantially less if employees decide to take an open position within our two hospitals. Patient safety is our top priority. St. John’s staffing has always been, and will remain in compliance with California law. We will continue to monitor the situation.Share your comments about this story with us on the KEY News Facebook page. Connect with KEY News on Twitter

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