Local hospitals, health departments prepare for possible coronavirus outbreak

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GREENVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) – Current global circumstances suggest it’s likely this virus will cause a pandemic,” said Anne Schuchat, with the Centers for Disease Control.

CDC experts expect the coronavirus to be widespread around the world with an outbreak here in the U.S.

“It’s not so much a question of if this will happen anymore, but rather more a question of when this will happen and how many people in this country will become infected,” said Schuchat.

Leaders at the Pitt County Health Department said they are prepared.

“We always have what is called an all-hazards plan and that requires us to prepare for all hazards and really more the needs produced by the hazard for many situations including the outbreak of disease,” said Pitt County Health Department Director, John Silvernail.

Workers at Carolina East Medical Center are taking necessary steps for a possible coronavirus outbreak. That includes monitoring current travel advisories.

“We are in addition making sure that we have adequate supplies equipment to protect our employees when they are providing care and we are reviewing our action plans and making sure they are all current with that current recommendations and making sure we’re prepared for that first patient,” said Cathy Fischer, Infection Prevention at Carolina East Medical Center.

Vidant Medical Center said it is monitoring the virus. It’s workers have protocols in place at all hospitals to care for patients that may have infectious diseases.

Health leaders want people to take precautions but do not panic.

“I don’t think it’s ever appropriate to panic people don’t need to be afraid to go out and go about their normal activity but people should monitor the situation and be aware of what’s happening,” said Silvernail.

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