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. . Sanford Health had to switch to damage control mode according to its boss's email to employees.
. . Kelby Krabbenhoft told staff he didn't need a mask in the office because he had already signed COVID-19 and claimed he was immune to it, the AP said.
. . SIOUX FALLS, S. . D.. . (AP) - The head of one of the largest regional health systems in the Midwest was replaced on Tuesday, less than a week after telling staff that he had recovered from COVID-19 and was not wearing a mask in the office. Sanford Health said in a press release that it has "mutually agreed to part ways" with longtime CEO Kelby Krabbenhoft, who took over the organization in 1996 and helped grow the organization from a community hospital to the largest rural nonprofit health care system in the country. Krabbenhoft left the management position after emailing staff to inform them that he believes he is immune to COVID-19 "at least seven months and maybe years later" and that he is not at risk of passing it on to anyone. He said wearing a mask was just for show. Other Sanford executives tried to distance themselves from the comments. DR. Kathy Anderson, president of the North Dakota Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics, said it was "particularly dangerous news to be broadcast now in North Dakota. " The U. S.. . The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention advise people to wear masks as they prevent infected people - whether they know it or not - from spreading the coronavirus. It is also said that masks can protect wearers who are not infected, albeit to a lesser extent. Krabbenhoft said in a statement that the timing of his departure was right for him and his family. "We decided that today is a good time to retire," he said. “Sanford is in a good place, the strongest ever. The company's board of trustees commissioned Bill Gassen to take over Krabbenhoft. Gassen has been with Sanford since 2012 and most recently as Chief Administrative Officer. His appointment is effective immediately. . . .