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Our UNC Health and School of Medicine colleagues are consistently sharing their expertise and experiences through the media and our official social media channels.

90% of Duke Health, UNC Health employees have complied with vaccine mandate

UNC officials said the following in a statement:

“We believe that requiring vaccines is in the best interest of public health and is essential for the safety of our patients, teammates and communities. UNC Health is grateful for the hard work and sacrifices of our heroic health workers during the pandemic. This vaccine requirement is designed to provide a critical layer of protection to everyone.” (September 14, 2021)

UNC REX: Don’t come to the ER with simple fracture, sprain – go to urgent care

Hospital leaders will treat everyone who comes into the emergency department, but that doesn’t mean people should be coming into the building.

“If you have a simple fracture or a sprain, something like that, urgent care should be able to take care of that for you,” said Kim Boyer, the director of emergency services at UNC REX. (September 14, 2021)

NC hospitals begin publishing COVID patient numbers
to make a point about vaccination

“The rationale is to provide simple and visual information for the public that reflects reality,” said Alan Wolf, spokesman for UNC Health, the 12-hospital system based in Chapel Hill.

“The evidence shows that you’re much less likely to end up in the hospital, much less likely to end up in the ICU and much less likely to die from this virus if you’ve been vaccinated.” (September 9, 2021)

Is it a good idea to attend football games and outdoor concerts?
We asked the experts

“This variant is hyper-infectious and hyper-dangerous. That means the things that worked to protect us from previous variants may not be sufficient to protect against delta.

“So, I would not go to a crowded event like a game where it might be hard for me to keep a healthy distance from others in the stands or aisles or bathroom. It’s just
too many people in too close a space for comfort.”

Dr. David Wohl, UNC Health (September 8, 2021)

Thousands of UNC, Duke hospital workers could lose jobs
over refusal to get vaccinated

Thousands of Duke University Health System and UNC Health workers could lose their jobs if they’re not vaccinated within two weeks. The two hospital systems were among several
statewide that announced vaccine mandates for staff in July.

Both Duke and UNC set Sept. 21 deadlines, saying employees
could face termination if they didn’t have their shots by then. (September 7, 2021)

Triangle’s mental health care system
shows the strain of 18 months of pandemic

“We are calling this a ‘mental health tsunami,’” said Dr. Samantha Meltzer-Brody, chair of Psychiatry at UNC SOM”
“And it’s something I spend a good amount of my days and nights thinking about.”

“We don’t have inpatient psychiatry beds. The ERs are filling up. It’s terrible,” she said.

Dr. Samantha Meltzer-Brody, UNC SOM (September 9, 2021)

As ICU staff provide care for COVID patients,
they’re also emotional support for family, friends

They also provide emotional support to the family and friends who visit the patients. “It’s sad because you’re with them three or four days a week, you build relationships with their families,” UNC Medical Center ICU nurse Kat Phillips said. “It also hurts because they are way younger than they were 18 months ago.” You see all these families in here devastated, and there’s nothing we can do. We’re just waiting on time and prayer.”

Kat Phillips, UNC Medical Center ICU Nurse (September 6, 2021)

How safe are outdoor events? Is a lockdown coming?

“Being next to someone screaming and cheering for a long period of time, if they’re infected and neither you nor they have a mask on, it does present some risk of infection.

Dr. David Weber, UNC Health (September 1, 2021)

‘It’s critical.’ COVID-19 is filling Wake hospitals
and emergency departments

Dr. Linda Butler, UNC Rex CMO

The situation has grown critical, according to top doctors at WakeMed, Duke Raleigh Hospital,
UNC Rex Healthcare
and Wake County Emergency Medical Services.

They held a joint press conference Wednesday to ask the public’s understanding and help. Linda Butler, the chief medical officer. Butler said Rex, with 439 inpatient beds, had 520 patients in the hospital on Wednesday, in part because so many were housed in the emergency department and other temporary areas. (August 25, 2021)