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CarolinaEast Medical Center Updates on COVID-19 Status, Preparedness and Precautions

Hospital news | Monday, April 6, 2020

(New Bern, NC) – CarolinaEast Medical Center has six confirmed positive COVID-19 test results as of Monday, April 6, 2020. CarolinaEast staff is taking all appropriate measures to care for the COVID-19 patients, including isolation, and will further update as the situation evolves.

CarolinaEast officials have been and will continue to work closely with the North Carolina State Division of Public Health (NC DHHS), local health departments and emergency management agencies to coordinate preparation and response efforts to COVID-19 in accordance with guidelines from The Centers for Disease Control (CDC). “This has been a moving target from the very start. We receive expert guidance at the federal and state levels, and I have complete faith in our team at CarolinaEast to make these tough decisions and changes as they arise, sometimes several times daily,” states Ray Leggett, President and CEO of CarolinaEast Health System.

Some of the precautions CarolinaEast has already implemented are as follows:

  • No visitors allowed at any CarolinaEast facility, with few exceptions.
  • All elective surgeries and procedures have been postponed.
  • The Cafeteria at the Medical Center is closed to the public and the dine-in seating area is closed to everyone.
  • All visitors entering a CarolinaEast facility are screened for respiratory signs and symptoms, as well as travel history and exposure to any known COVID-19 positive persons.
  • A screening tent outside of the Emergency Department entrance has allowed staff to screen for possible persons of interest of COVID-19 and direct them to a separate area to be fully triaged by staff in appropriate Personal Protective Equipment (PPE).

New precautions being implemented today, Monday, April 6, 2020:

  • All staff members will be screened for respiratory signs and symptoms upon entry, as well as travel history and exposure to any known COVID-19 positive persons.
  • CarolinaEast Medical Center is reducing its points of entry to limit access to certain areas and to allow for efficient health screenings.
  • All clinical staff members have been required to wear a mask when in contact with patients; moving forward, all staff, clinical and non-clinical, will be required to wear masks when in public areas of CarolinaEast facilities.

CarolinaEast has many interdisciplinary teams meeting daily, including an incident command structure to ensure all bases of operations are covered. Other preparedness efforts include identifying alternate care areas for an overflow of patients if the need should arise, as well as converting many current care areas to negative pressure isolation rooms recommended for COVID-19 patients.

CarolinaEast has been tightly monitoring and conserving PPE and appreciates the many donations from organizations and community members, and will continue to accept those as we prepare for more potential COVID-19 patients.

CarolinaEast Physicians (CEP) continues to see patients in their offices, but encourages appropriate patients to take advantage of telehealth visits.

Virtual video and phone communication are encouraged for patients and families and the hospital is making technology for virtual communication available for patients as needed to stay in touch with loved ones.

“I am more proud of our CarolinaEast team now than ever before,” said Leggett. “As I often say, no one is better than Team CarolinaEast when the going gets tough.”

The public is strongly encouraged to comply with the Stay At Home Executive Order of North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper. Additional preventive measures provided by the CDC can be found at https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-nCoV/