Pitt County health director touring ECU football stadium with chancellor

The health director for Pitt County is touring Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium with ECU's interim...
The health director for Pitt County is touring Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium with ECU's interim chancellor on Friday.(WITN)
Published: Aug. 21, 2020 at 11:04 AM EDT|Updated: Aug. 21, 2020 at 4:07 PM EDT
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GREENVILLE, N.C. (WITN) - The health director for Pitt County is touring Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium with ECU’s interim chancellor on Friday.

The tour involving Pitt County Health Director Dr. John Silvernail and ECU Interim Chancellor Dr. Ron Mitchelson began Friday morning.

It comes a day after it was announced by ECU Director of Athletics Jon Gilbert that football activities are being paused due to a cluster of COVID-19 cases involving 10 people associated with the team.

WITN requested to take part in this tour involving these decision-makers but was denied by the university.

“There have been ongoing meetings between ECU Athletics and Pitt County Public Health (Dr. Silvernail) during the COVID-19 pandemic, none of which have been categorized as media opportunities given safety protocols in place – same applies today,” wrote Assistant Athletic Director Tom McClellan in an e-mail to our request.

“Any decisions that result or are derived from those discussions will be released at the appropriate time.”

Since the start of the semester, repeated requests to interview Dr. Ron Mitchelson have been denied by the university. Friday afternoon, ECU released a statement from Mitchelson.


At East Carolina University, we continue to analyze carefully, along with our public health experts, the key COVID-19 metrics from campus and local data. Our students, staff, faculty and parents are continuing to monitor the data as well.

ECU continues to message students and employees through multiple platforms regarding personal responsibility and the need to comply with safety protocols – the three Ws. Wear your mask or face covering; wait six feet; wash your hands frequently. Additionally the university has sanction procedures in place for those who continue to ignore their responsibility to the university community. And I appreciate those who are following the guidelines and those working to keep our campus open and operational each day.

The university continues to adapt to the challenges that COVID-19 presents. However, conditions may change and flexibility is vital. As we go forward, we will continue to work with UNC System President Peter Hans to make the best decisions for the well-being of our campus.

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