Category: CarolinaEast

April 2nd, 2020 by newbernpostadmin

Three New COVID-19 Cases Confirmed in Craven County

Three new cases of the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) have been confirmed in Craven County residents. This brings the total positive case count to 10 in Craven County.

Of the 10 cases, five have been related to out of state travel, two are from community transmission, and two are a direct contact with a previously confirmed positive.

Craven County Health Department Communicable Disease staff has yet to determine where the third individual contracted COVID-19.

The new individuals who tested positive for COVID-19 are adults.  Two of the individuals were tested at CarolinaEast Medical Center for COVID-19 on March 31, 2020. The third individual was tested at CarolinaEast Medical Center for COVID-19 on March 30, 2020.

All tests were sent to the North Carolina State Lab of Public Health. These confirmed cases were reported to the Craven County Health Department on Thursday, April 2, 2020 by state health officials and CarolinaEast Medical Center.

Craven County public health officials have been in contact with each individual since notified of the positive test results. All three individuals are hospitalized.

Craven County Health Department’s Communicable Disease staff is working to conduct contact tracing to make sure everyone who came into close contact with these individuals are quarantined.

Close contact is anyone who was within six feet of the individual for 10 minutes or more.

While Craven County has had 10 confirmed positive COVID-19 cases, four of those individuals have recovered, are doing well, and are out of isolation.

Residents who feel they are symptomatic should stay home and self-isolate. Most people who get COVID-19 will recover without needing medical care. New guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that you stay home if you have mild symptoms such as fever and cough without shortness of breath or difficulty breathing.

Anyone who is symptomatic should not just present at a medical provider’s office without calling ahead first. There are other upper respiratory illnesses present locally, the seasonal flu and it is allergy season which can also produce similar symptoms to COVID-19.

Craven County Health Director Scott Harrelson said, “We all need to take this seriously but we do not need to live in fear. Remember 80% of the people who get COVID-19 will experience mild symptoms.

“Our health department team will continue to perform contact tracing to make sure close contacts of infected individuals are going into quarantine for 14 days. This will not totally stop the spread of the virus but it will slow the spread of the virus down.

“Social distancing measures are also helping to slow the spread. We will see an increase in the number of cases through the weeks to come and it may not seem like we are slowing the spread but rest assured, your efforts are helping the situation greatly and know that we would experience many more cases if we were not taking these precautions.”

Craven County Government COVID-19 updates will appear on the Craven County website at, on the Craven County Facebook page @cravencounty and the Craven County Twitter account @cravencountync.  Residents are also encouraged to register to receive notifications via the Craven County website and to register to receive emergency notifications via text, email and phone calls through the CodeRed Emergency Notification System.

For more information on COVID-19, please visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website at and the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services Division of Public Health website at

Posted in CarolinaEast, Community, Craven County

April 1st, 2020 by newbernpostadmin

Updated with information about ventilators

How prepared is CarolinaEast based on the possibility of the virus striking hard in our area? 

We are as prepared as we can be. We have created multiple additional care areas outfitted with isolation rooms, we have inventoried ventilators and all personal protective equipment, and we are cross training staff, among other things. Of course preventive measures such as visitor restrictions, stopping elective surgeries to conserve PPE, the screening of everyone entering the building for symptoms, etc.

Do Ray Leggett (president and CEO of CarolinaEast) or the Contract Company that staffs the ER have any comment or insights they wish to share? 

Just that our front line staff have been incredible in their dedication to our organization and their profession.

Do they have PPE, ventilators, appropriate staffing, policies, and procedures, etc. in place? 

Yes to all of these, absolutely.

How many ventilators do you have?

The types of ventilators vary and I do not have exact numbers, but we have the capacity to ventilate twice as many patients as we typically would.

We have more ventilators than we typically have ICU rooms. We do not want to publish our specific numbers because it is an ever-changing number as we are identifying as many ways as possible to meet the needs of our patients before they arise.

— Brandy Popp, Manager, Public Relations and Outreach, CarolinaEast Health System

Posted in CarolinaEast, Craven County, Health

March 20th, 2020 by newbernpostadmin

CarolinaEast Health System is further expanding visitor restrictions to help prevent the spread of respiratory illnesses, including coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).

In light of the most recent guidance from the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services (NCDHHS), CarolinaEast is taking the additional measure of restricting all visitation at its facilities to protect patients, staff and the community.

Effective at 5 p.m. on Friday, March 20, 2020, no visitors will be allowed at CarolinaEast Medical Center and CarolinaEast Surgery Center.

This applies to all areas of the hospital, including the Emergency Department, and outpatient Surgery Center.

Nursing staff and the attending physician will work with families who have special circumstances, such as critically ill or injured family member, on a case-by-case basis.

Although CarolinaEast has seen no cases of COVID-19 in its facilities, this is a rapidly evolving situation and CarolinaEast Health System will take additional steps to help control the spread of COVID-19 as necessary.

CarolinaEast appreciates the public’s support in following the recommended guidelines to help prevent the spread of disease.

Posted in CarolinaEast, Health, New Bern

March 18th, 2020 by newbernpostadmin

Beginning Wednesday, March 18, 2020, CarolinaEast Health System is screening all patients and visitors for signs of or potential exposure to coronavirus COVID-19 before being allowed in their facilities, to include the medical center, surgery center and physician practices.

At all points of entry, CarolinaEast staff is asking patients and visitors specific questions that will identify whether they should undergo further evaluation before being allowed into the health system facilities. A tent has also been set up outside the emergency department to serve as a shelter to screen patients before they enter the building and a protocol is in place for those showing symptoms. This is to ensure staff and other patients and visitors are not exposed unnecessarily.

“Currently, we do not have any COVID-19 patients at our hospital, but are working closely with many public health officials and have determined these additional precautions are necessary at this time,” said Dr. Ron May, vice president of Medical Affairs at CarolinaEast Health System. “During this outbreak, it is important for us to identify everyone entering our facilities for history of travel outside the U.S. and for fever or cough that may mean they have COVID-19 or an acute respiratory infection.”

All visitors coming to a CarolinaEast facility during this temporary restricted visitation must be screened daily even if health screened a previous day. The previously implemented visitor restrictions, to include no more than two immediatefamily members age 12 and over per patient, are still in effect until further notice.

In addition, the hospital cafeteria is closed to the general public and the dining-in seating area is closed to everyone.

Posted in CarolinaEast, Health, New Bern

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