WEST READING, Pa. - Tower Health is feeling the financial strain of COVID-19.

The Berks County-based health network announced Tuesday it is cutting 1,000 positions. The layoffs affect about 900 employees, as about 100 of the cut jobs are currently unfilled, according to a news release.

"While we excelled in caring for the community during the height of the pandemic, and continue to do so today, the government-mandated closure of many outpatient facilities and the suspension of elective procedures caused a 40% drop in system revenue," Clint Matthews, Tower Health's president and CEO, said in a prepared statement.

Matthews said the health network lost about $212 million in revenue through May, while increasing spending on personal protective equipment, staff support and virus-related equipment.

Several clinical facilities and services are taking hits as well. Tower Health will close Pottstown Hospital's maternity unit as well as close or consolidate the Reading Birth Center.

At the Reading Hospital, some behavioral health services and the occupational medicine and sports medicine programs will be closed or consolidated.

Two physician practices in Montgomery County -- Coventry Foot & Ankle and Premier GYN Limerick -- will be closed.

"The decision to reduce our workforce has been difficult and painful, because it impacts lives," Matthews said. "It is necessary, however, to ensure that Tower Health can continue to serve the community with high-quality healthcare in the months and years ahead."

Tower Health said it will continue to monitor COVID-19's impact, and may have to make more changes in the future.

The network employs more than 14,000 people across seven hospitals, including Reading Hospital and Pottstown Hospital, as well as 22 urgent care facilities and many physician and specialist offices.

Tuesday's announcement comes nearly two months after Tower Health furloughed approximately 1,000 of its full-time employees because of the pandemic.

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