DULUTH (AP) -- Essentia Health says it is laying off 900 employees as the coronavirus pandemic cuts into the business.

Essentia Health CEO David Herman said Thursday that the recent cost-reduction measures the Duluth-based health care system has taken ``are not sufficient to preserve our mission and the health of the organization.''

The cuts represent 6 percent of Essentia's workforce. The cuts are in addition to 850 Essentia employees who have been placed on administrative leave.

Minnesota hospitals are dealing with a steep drop in business while preparing for an expected surge of COVID-19 patients. Routine visits have been postponed and elective surgeries were not allowed until recently.

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