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Due to the spread of COVID-19 in the state of North Carolina, as well as the high number of people with respiratory viruses in the community, Vidant Health is temporarily expanding its visitation restrictions for patient and visitor safety.

Effective immediately, in an abundance of caution, the following visitation restrictions are in place at all Vidant hospitals:

Only immediate family members over the age of 16 and not exhibiting any symptoms of illness may visit a Vidant hospital.

These restrictions apply to all areas of the hospital, not just patient areas.

To prevent the spread of viruses, health experts recommend:

Washing hands frequently

Keeping children home from school when sick

Not sharing cups or utensils

Covering your mouth when you cough or sneeze

As always, family and visitors of any age should not come to the hospital if they have symptoms of a cold or flu, fever, diarrhea, vomiting or headaches.

This precaution will help limit the spread of infections while protecting hospital patients, their loved ones and Vidant team members. These limitations are temporary and will be lifted as soon as safely possible.

Vidant has also suspended all group education classes and events. If you have questions about a class or event you are registered for, please call 855-MyVidant.

“Vidant Health values family presence when loved ones are in the hospital,” the system said. “At the same time, we are responsible for protecting patients from being exposed to infectious viruses.”

This is a rapidly developing situation and Vidant officials continue to closely monitor the spread of COVID-19. For the latest information on COVID-19, to include confirmed cases in North Carolina, please visit ncdhhs.gov/coronavirus, cdc.gov/coronavirus or VidantHealth.com/covid-19