Vidant leaders push for shelter in place order


GREENVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) — The top executive at Vidant is urging leaders to issue an order telling people across the state to stay home.

Vidant Health CEO Michael Waldrum says an order like that is the only thing that will flatten the curve.

Flattening the curve refers to drastically reducing the number of people who could be exposed to the virus.

Waldrum says staying home isn’t just the best way to do that, it’s the only way.

Vidant health facilities are already changing the way they operate.

Executives are closing facilities off to visitors, or restricting access.

Waldrum says now is the time for state and local leaders to act.

“The problem is the way political decisions are made. They don’t match the time of a virus,” said Waldrum. “We have to get on COVID-19 time.”

Over the weekend, Vidant released an op-ed piece, calling for governments to order non-essential workers and others to stay at home.

He’s pleased to hear Pitt County health leaders call today for more people to stay home, but says it’s not enough.

He says facing COVID-19 is a lot like starring down a category 5 hurricane.

“The COVID hurricane is coming and it’s coming fast. We can see it, and every two days it speeds up,” said Waldrum. “We need to take action now so hopefully it’s not a five. That would be devastating.”

Waldrum also said he believes people need to help out their own communities in Eastern North Carolina.

Overall, the Vidant Health Executive says he’s proud to see how health care workers are responding to the pandemic, and that everyone should think twice and stay home.

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