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Vidant Health continues to increase access to essential care and services, supported by North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Mandy Cohen’s announcement on Friday. 

This requires a defined process, careful planning and a phased approach, while keeping the safety of team members, providers and patients at the forefront of all decisions.

Essential care and services include any procedure or surgery that, if not done within four weeks, would cause harm to the patient. This includes select general and orthopedic surgeries, cardiac, vascular and gastroenterology procedures.

Vidant is prioritizing patients using well-established protocols that reflect guidelines and best practices outlined by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, the U.S. Surgeon General and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.


Patients should continue to communicate with their provider. 

Once a procedure or surgery is scheduled, patients are following these steps when scheduled for essential services:

Complete a COVID-19 screening and test at a Vidant testing site at least 48 hours prior.

While waiting for test results and prior to surgery or procedure, patients will wear the provided mask at home, self-isolate, monitor their temperature and should contact their physician if they develop any COVID-19 related symptoms. These steps are in addition to any pre-procedure instructions given by their physician.

If the COVID -19 test comes back positive, the physician who ordered the test will contact the patient to make them aware of the positive test and cancel the procedure. If the patient has a primary care physician, the physician will recommend the patient follow-up with their PCP for next steps.

If the COVID-19 test comes back negative, the patient will not be contacted and should arrive at their procedure or surgery site as previously scheduled.

Upon arrival at the hospital or SurgiCenter, patients can expect to be screened upon entry to the facility and then follow the normal pre-op process.


Vidant is committed to maintaining the safest environment to deliver essential care and services throughout the ongoing pandemic, which includes separate triage and treatment zones for COVID-19 patients.

Vidant is using superior cleaning techniques. 

This includes sterilization and cleaning protocols such as the use of Solaris UV Lytbots. Vidant’s trained environmental service teams have — and will continue to — ensure all high-touch surfaces are fully sanitized. 

The phased approach also includes ensuring all Vidant entities have adequate personal protective equipment and other supplies necessary to safely deliver the essential care and services that eastern North Carolina depends on.

As essential care and services are phased in, it is important to remember COVID-19 remains a highly infectious respiratory virus without a vaccine or effective treatment. It is still important to continue to practice social distancing, proper hand hygiene and stay home as much as possible to help stop the spread.

To learn more about the steps Vidant is taking to ensure the safety of team members and patients, visit its Essential Care page.