By Outer Banks Voice on March 22, 2020
In an op-ed released today, Dr. Michael Waldrum, the CEO of Vidant Health, and Dr. Mark Stacy, the dean of the Brody School of Medicine at East Carolina University, call for local and state officials to “take more decisive action” to respond to the coronavirus outbreak. That includes, as has been done is some other states and communities, issuing a “shelter in place” order in North Carolina.
While the state has developed a number of restrictions, closing restaurants and bars, closing schools, and recommending against gatherings of more than 50 people, it has not yet issued a shelter in place order.
At a March 20 briefing, state officials said there were no plans at that time to impose such a restriction.
In their op-ed, Waldrum and Stacy write that, “We are calling on local officials throughout eastern North Carolina and the state to take more decisive action in response to this crisis to include making the bold and right decision to ask North Carolinians to shelter in place. This means staying close to home as much as possible and only going out if absolutely necessary, such as buying groceries or picking up medications.”
“This is the right thing to do to save lives and is the right thing for our long-term economic interests,” they added. “Community members must encourage the political bodies to be decisive, take action now and then support them.”
“We can’t stop this wave from hitting us,” the authors wrote, referring to COVID-19. “However, we can lessen its impact here and now in eastern North Carolina. The question is whether we will take the necessary actions to reduce the spread of the virus.”