Cape Fear Valley hospital in Fayetteville focuses on Black, Brown communities to help slow spread of COVID-19

FAYETTEVILLE, N.C. (WTVD) -- Cape Fear Valley Health Hospital has issued a call to action in hopes of slowing the spread of COVID-19 by targeting Black and Brown communities.

It's been several months since 39-year-old Alfred Payne first spoke with ABC11. The COVID-19 survivor and Fayetteville resident spent nearly a month in the hospital fighting for his life on a ventilator.

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The New York native says it started with a fever and uncontrollable sweating, then it progressed into hallucinations, pneumonia, double kidney failure and losing almost 100 pounds.

"Life's been good. Can't really complain about anything," said Payne. "I've been able to get back to what normalcy used to be."

Hospital officials are targeting church leaders, beauty and barber shops in communities of color to reach people in the community. According to staffers, about 65 percent of the hospital's COVID-19 patient admissions have been Black.

Currently, 127 people are hospitalized with COVID-19 in the health care region that includes Cumberland County. On Thursday, the region admitted 102 suspected COVID-19 patients--the second highest number in the state and double the next highest region. In the region, 40 adult COVID-19 patients are in the intensive care unit.

"We want to make sure we provide PPE, particularly masks. Also fliers and handouts that can be shared throughout the community," said Dr. Roxie Wells at Cape Fear Valley Health.

In Hope Mills, the Barber Kings barber shop will be a liaison for this effort. The owners Shawn Morris and Lumumba Quow said they're trying to connect the community with resources.

"Giving the information to people for them to know exactly where they should go for help is one of the biggest things," said Morris.

Payne said he plans to use his new outlook on life to save someone else.

"Since I've been given a second chance, I want to offer that same chance for everyone else," said Payne.

If you'd like to take part in this effort head to the Cape Fear Valley Health Facebook page.
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