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Vidant Health News: Stay-at-home order helps flatten the curve

March 30, 2020 posted by Vidant Health News

The state's decision to issue a "stay-at-home" order comes days after Vidant Health experts advocated it be done. Erica Mizelle with Vidant Health News shares the latest perspective on the pandemic.

Flattening the curve – it's a phrase that continues to be used in the fight against COVID-19.

“What we’re talking about is how steep the spread of the virus is, and how much volume and how rapidly we see more people with the virus,” said Vidant Medical Center President Brian Floyd. 

The pace at which the virus moves through a community has a direct affect on a hospital or health system's ability to manage it.

“So what we want to do is flatten that curve and stay within our limits of capability. We don’t presume that it will never happen," Floyd said. "It is going to happen, it is already happening in eastern North Carolina.”

No one is immune.

“We see that the virus does not care if you’re from Italy, United States, Chicago, New York or Greenville, North Carolina," Floyd said. "The virus treats everyone the same. We are at the very beginning of the curve – but it’s not looking as though it’s any different than it is in any of those other environments.”

While the communities Vidant Health serves may be spread over many miles, distance alone isn't enough to protect people who call this region home.

“We all have talked for years about eastern North Carolina being a high-risk environment because we have a lot of co-morbid conditions and we have an older population in many of our rural communities,” Floyd said.

Caring for the most vulnerable continues to be the focus of the focus of those on the front lines.

“We’ve taken severe restrictions, both a stay at home order from the government," Floyd said, "which we’re greatly appreciative of here locally – and we led the state in doing that to get ahead of this curve.”

Because getting ahead of the curve is one of the best ways to slow the spread.

“It’s super important that everybody recognize it’s a serious matter," Floyd said. "We’re not trying to scare anybody but this is a scary thing.”

Practicing social distancing and good hand hygiene continue to be the best defense against the spread of COVID-19.

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