Vidant and ECU prepared for COVID-19

Published 8:46 am Wednesday, March 18, 2020

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To the Editor:

As the novel coronavirus COVID-19 continues to spread across the world and our state, Vidant Health and the Brody School of Medicine at East Carolina University are ready for when this virus arrives in our communities throughout eastern North Carolina.

Our two institutions have been preparing since the beginning of January for the likelihood that this disease will impact our region.

If you are planning to visit a Vidant hospital or clinic, be aware that the following visitor restrictions are in place to protect against the spread of COVID-19:

Only one, immediate family member, over the age of 16 and not exhibiting any symptoms of illness may visit a hospital or accompany a patient to an appointment.

This applies to all hospital, clinics and emergency departments. Specific information about our preparedness and restrictions is available at

ECU has a multi-phase response plan in place that will enable us to seamlessly adjust our operations as the COVID-19 situation evolves to ensure the health and safety of our patients, staff and learners. We have also implemented enhanced screening protocols for patients and provided additional training to our faculty, students and staff on COVID-19. Specific information about our university’s preparedness and response is available at

We also have virtual care options available including VidantNow and the ECU Physicians Virtual Visit option, which ECU Physicians patients can access by calling their primary care clinic.

Community members can reduce their risk of exposure by following prevention recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), including:

Washing hands with soap and water regularly;

Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth;

Sneezing and coughing into a tissue or your elbow;

Cleaning and disinfecting frequently-touched surfaces daily; and

Practicing social distancing and avoiding large gatherings.

If you are concerned that you may have been exposed to COVID-19 and have symptoms of fever, cough and/or shortness of breath, it is important for you to contact your health care provider for guidance before heading to a doctor’s office or hospital.

For more than 40 years, we have proudly served this region with high-quality health care and the coming days will be no different.

We understand these are unsettling times, but Vidant Health and East Carolina University are prepared and committed to caring for you, your family and your community – not just during this most recent pandemic, but every day.

Michael Waldrum, MD

Chief Executive Officer, Vidant Health

 Mark Stacy, MD

Dean, Brody School of Medicine

Vice Chancellor for Health Sciences

East Carolina University