GREENVILLE, N.C. (WITN) - COVID-19 is continuing to spread here in the east and health care and government officials are urging residents to stay at home.
Vidant Health CEO Michael Waldrum says, “It's like a hurricane. COVID-cane is heading for us and it's a level 1 right now."
Putting it in terms eastern Carolina is familiar with, Waldrum says the COVID-19 pandemic has the potential to be just as bad as a category 5 hurricane.
Waldrum says, "The same things that happened in Italy, the same things that happened in China, are happening here now."
Waldrum says we should be preparing even more, like sheltering in place where everyone stays at home, except to buy groceries, get medicine, or do anything else that's essential.
While Governor Roy Cooper has shut down all close-contact businesses, closed K thru 12 schools, and cancelled gatherings of 50 or more Monday, he has not yet ordered for a shelter-in-place.
The new order will require certain businesses to close, including:
-Bingo Parlors, including Bingo sites operated by charitable organizations
-Indoor Exercise Facilities (e.g. gyms, yoga studios, martial arts -facilities, indoor trampoline and rock-climbing facilities)
-Live Performance Venues
-Video game arcades
-Beauty Salons (including waxing and hair removal centers)
-Nail Salons/Manicure/Pedicure Providers
Cooper says, "Right now we're not issuing a stay at home order, but the situation is constantly evolving."
Cooper is confident that they are taking proactive measures. "We have taken action to close a number of businesses that provide for close-contact where it's close to have social distancing."
But Waldrdum is still worried about the worst case scenario. "It's heading towards us. The math is very clear and we will have a cat 5 and the hospital will try to accommodate all of the victims of that cat 5."
Pitt County's health director has echoed the same thing as Aaldrum, encouraging everyone who can to go home, and stay home.