UNC Health encourages 'virtual visits' in effort to prevent spread of coronavirus

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. (WTVD) -- UNC Health wants visitors to stay away from its hospitals and is encouraging virtual visits with patients instead of in-person visits as part of an effort to reduce the spread of the coronavirus.

The healthcare system is also warning of tighter restrictions if COVID-19 spreads in North Carolina.

Timeline of travel for Wake County coronavirus patients

UNC Health operates 13 hospital campuses across the state.

"Our top priority is always protecting the safety and welfare of patients, our incredible staff and the families of our patients," said UNC Health CEO Dr. Wesley Burks in a statement. "While restricted access to our facilities may cause some inconvenience, we believe it is in the best interest of our entire state."

The hospital system has a current visitor restriction on children under 12 to minimize the spread of influenza.

COVID-19 Cases Related to North Carolina:

UNC Health is hoping friends and family, other than immediate family members, will use video conferencing and phone calls to communicate with patients as healthcare workers try to stem the spread of COVID-19 in North Carolina.

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Anyone who is experiencing symptoms like a cough, sneezing or fever should stay home and avoid visiting hospitals and medical centers, unless they are getting medical care.
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