A sign in honor of hospital personnel stands outside the main entrance of the University of Vermont Medical Center, Friday, Nov. 20, 2020, in Burlington, Vt. Credit: Wilson Ring / AP

BURLINGTON, Vt.  — Vermont’s largest hospital, the University of Vermont Medical Center, is operating under an emergency staffing plan because 422 staff members are out of work for COVID-19 related reasons.

Staff will be sent “to areas of highest need,” the hospital said in a news release on Wednesday.

The emergency staffing plan is expected to last for several weeks and services at outpatient clinics may need to be “adjusted,” the hospital said.

 Chief Nursing Officer Peg Gagne said in a statement that staff has been extremely dedicated throughout the entire pandemic and will continue to work together to provide needed care “in the face of yet another challenge.

That said, it has been a long haul, and we have asked a lot from each of them — they are tired, and like all of us, want this to be over,” she said.

She urged people to please get vaccinated, wear a mask, and get tested when necessary.