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Working together to defeat COVID-19
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Letter to the Editor

Working together to defeat COVID-19

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Working together to defeat COVID-19

To the patients, families, and communities we are proud to serve:

It is our mission to care for you and support you – a commitment that will never waver. That’s why we want to be upfront with you: North Carolina is at a critical juncture in the battle against COVID-19 and we need your immediate help to slow community spread of the virus.

The omicron variant is highly infectious. While it might cause only mild illnesses for some people, including some who have been vaccinated, our hospitals are filling up fast with COVID patients – a vast majority of whom are unvaccinated. This situation is putting daily strain on our ability to care for those who have other urgent medical needs that are not COVID-related. It is heartbreaking, which is why we are reaching out to you.

With COVID-19 spreading like wildfire, your personal decisions about how to coexist with the virus directly affect the health and well-being of your family and community. Our best chance of returning to living healthy, normal lives is to make sure our families, friends and work colleagues are choosing to be vaccinated and getting their recommended booster shots.

Here is some important information to know:

Vaccine and booster doses are readily available. They help the human immune system to be ready to recognize and fight back against COVID-19 infection. Vaccinated people are less likely to require hospitalization or die from COVID-19.

You can get the virus again even if you had it before. Antibodies from an actual infection do not last as long as the antibodies produced in response to the vaccine, which is why vaccination is recommended even for people who have had COVID.

Everyone ages 5 and older can get vaccinated. Everyone ages 12 years and older can also get a booster shot.

It’s OK to have questions about vaccines. If you do, talk to a health care professional you trust.

Also please continue to practice the 3 W’s, protecting each other by wearing a mask properly covering your nose and mouth, waiting six feet apart (social distancing), and washing or disinfecting hands frequently.

We will eventually get past this. But first, let’s work together to contain the rapid spread of COVID-19 in our local communities and make 2022 a happy and healthy new year.

Collectively signed by Kathy C. Bailey, FACHE, President & Chief Executive Officer and Anthony Frank, Jr., MD, MBA, FACEP, CPE, Senior Vice President of Medical Affairs and Chief Medical Officer of UNC Health Blue Ridge, along with officials from the following medical facilities: AdventHealth Hendersonville, Appalachian Regional Healthcare System, Atrium Health, Atrium Health Wake Forest Baptist, Caldwell UNC Healthcare, Cape Fear Valley Health System, Cape Fear Valley Health, CaroMont Health, Carteret Health Care, Catawba Valley Health System, Cone Health, Davis Regional Medical Center, Lake Norman Regional Medical Center, Duke Raleigh Hospital, Duke Regional Hospital, Duke University Hospital, FirstHealth of the Carolinas, Haywood Regional Medical Center, Iredell Health System, Mission Health, HCA Healthcare North Carolina Division, Hugh Chatham Memorial Hospital, Johnston UNC Health, Northern Regional Hospital, North Carolina Healthcare Association, Novant Health, Onslow Memorial Hospital, Pardee UNC Health Care, Scotland Health Care System, Sentara Albemarle Medical Center, UNC Health Care and Dean, UNC School of Medicine, Ernie Bovio, President, UNC Rex Healthcare, UNC Rockingham Health Care, UNC Health Southeastern, Vidant Health, WakeMed, Wilson Medical Center, A Duke LifePoint Hospital.

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