The first loss of life in Craven County from COVID-19 was a staff member at CarolinaEast Medical Center, serving on the front line against the onslaught of this highly contagious, deadly disease.

Due to federal privacy laws, the hospital and health authorities have not released any information about the individual, other than to confirm that the person was a member of the CarolinaEast Medical Center staff.

“Yes, the individual was a part of our hospital family and our hearts go out to their loved ones as well as those here at CarolinaEast that knew and loved them,” said Brandy Popp, manager of Public Relations and Outreach at CarolinaEast Health System.

“It is truly a heartbreaking situation. Frontline healthcare workers across the country are putting themselves at risk every day and as always, we appreciate the community’s support in lifting up our staff during an unprecedented time.”

The worker died from complications related to the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) on April 9, 2020, at CarolinaEast Medical Center. The individual presented to the hospital on April 2, 2020, and was tested for COVID-19 on the same day. The patient was confirmed positive for COVID-19 on April 4, 2020. The death was reported to the Craven County Health Department on April 9, 2020.

“Our thoughts and prayers go out to the family of this individual,” said Scott Harrelson, Craven County Health Director. “Despite our best efforts this virus has a tendency to be much harder on the elderly and those with underlying health conditions. Please listen to the advice of the infectious disease experts in order to reduce the infection rate of this virus. If we work together to reduce the spread of infection it will reduce the number of deaths.”

I hope that once everything settles down after this pandemic, the front-line workers in the medical field who suffer or die from COVID-19, as well as those who work tirelessly to save lives, are recognized for being the true and selfless heroes that they are.


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