PETERBOROUGH — Twenty-one Monadnock Community Hospital employees lost their jobs this week due to the financial strain caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, the hospital announced Wednesday night.

The employees whose positions were eliminated Monday were part of the hospital’s furloughs in May, which affected 100 people, according to hospital spokesman Philip McFarland.

President and CEO Cyndee McGuire called the force reduction an “extremely difficult decision” and said job eliminations are “always our last option.”

“Our employees have been heroes these past five months,” she said in a news release Wednesday night, adding that the hospital limited the impact to as few employees as possible. “... We remain focused on the long-term sustainability of our hospital, while simultaneously preparing for our future in the event of expected COVID-19 surges.”

In March, the hospital lost $1.7 million, according to a previous news release, and was projected at the time to lose between $3 and $4 million monthly — or a total of $24 million by the end of September.

Hospitals across the nation have been hit hard financially amid the pandemic, due to the cost of treating COVID-19 patients and the lost revenue from canceled elective procedures.

The job eliminations at Monadnock Community Hospital come on the heels of 90-day furloughs announced in May, affecting about 20 percent of its workforce. Senior leadership also took a 10 percent pay cut, and physicians, directors and managers took a 5 percent cut, the hospital said at the time.

Since then, Monadnock Community Hospital has reinstated 75 percent of the previously furloughed employees to support an increase in patient volume, Wednesday’s news release says.

Monadnock Community Hospital furloughs 100 employees

Olivia Belanger can be reached at 352-1234, extension 1439, or Follow her on Twitter @OBelangerKS.