NEW HANOVER COUNTY, NC (WWAY) — New Hanover Regional Medical Center’s chief physician is seeing some encouraging trends with coronavirus cases in the Cape Fear, but he said it is too soon to reopen the economy.
In an interview with WWAY on Tuesday, Dr. Philip Brown said the Cape Fear region is reducing the rate of infection or flattening the curve allowing the health care system to keep up with the amount of sick patients.
“Without a doubt, we know that we are flattening the curve at this point in time and that’s based on the behaviors that everyone has been undertaking out in the community,” Brown said.
Brown said that is good news and believes it is time to say thanks to all the citizens in the community for doing the big four things. He said those four things are flattening the curve.
“Six foot physical spacing, frequent hand washing, strict avoidance of gathering and now masks in public,” Brown said. “That really is saving lives.”
Brown said although this is good news, it is not time to open the area up yet.
“We don’t really have what we need to do that safely,” Brown said. “The good thing is that, no matter what the rules are, people can continue to act responsibly in the interest of protecting themselves, friends, neighbors, and family.”
Brown said we need more testing and contact tracing more than anything else right now. He said this is key to being able to reopen safely. Many people are wanting to see the area open up by May 1, which he believes is premature.
“I really want to emphasize that control of COVID-19 and restarting the economy are not in opposition whatsoever,” Brown said. “They have to be sequential to a certain extent and we have to have certain measures in place that we know control the virus in order that we don’t have false restarts.”
Brown said a false restart could be considerably more dangerous because of what it could do to people and the damage to the economy.