(Waupun) SSM Health, owner of Agnesian HealthCare, announced this week approximately 2,000 employees have been placed on furlough across its four state health system including Wisconsin. Additional employees will experience reduced hours. Officials with SSM Health say the furloughs are happening as the company invests in supplies and tools needed to respond to the COVID-19 outbreak. Meanwhile the volume of patients across their health care system has decreased by about 50 percent. It’s also freezing executive compensation and non-critical open positions, but still providing annual salary increases for employees. The furloughs are expected to last 13 weeks.