Pitt County leaders weigh in on reopening country in early May


GREENVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) — Pitt County leaders are weighing in on the national discussion of when to reopen the economy.

Local leaders say early May could be too early for eastern North Carolina.

Dr. John Silvernail with the Pitt County Health Department said the idea is reasonable, but the work to lessen the virus’s impact could be undone.

“If we go back to our pre-COVID-19 lives too quickly that will facilitate the transmission of the virus,” said Silvernail.

So, when is it safe to go back to normal?

“To get to the other side of this we probably need 3 to 5 incubation cycles. Six to ten weeks to get to the other side of this wave,” said Silvernail.

If we open up too early, we could see a flare up of cases.

“Be patient. I know it’s hard to do, but what we’re doing does seem to be working,” said Silvernail.

Health leaders have good news.

Vidant Health can now do about 1,000 rapid tests a week.

“It allows us to more quickly determine if the patient is not COVID positive therefore allowing their admission or procedures,” said Brian Floyd, Vidant Health.

It saves protective gear for health care workers, and lets them know sooner if they’re infected.

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