Published on August 20, 2020

UNC Lenoir’s Response to COVID-19

August 20, 2020


UNC Lenoir Health Care Amending Visitation Policies To Meet COVID-19 Patient Need

UNC Lenoir Health Care, which first implemented visitor restrictions in March to help control the spread of COVID-19, today announced NEW visitor guidelines that will take effect today, Wednesday, August 19th

For the continued health and safety of our patients and staff, the hospital is allowing limited visitation of one designated, screened visitor per patient for the duration of the patient’s stay.  We feel this will best take care of the patient and visitor as we continue to work to slow the spread of the virus. Any visitors under 18 years old are not allowed and visitors older than 65, pregnant or immunocompromised are strongly encouraged to not visit. 

All visitors must check in at the Visitors Desk and an appropriate mask will be provided to visitors during the screening process.  Masks must be worn at all times while in the facility. 

“Although COVID-19 is still prevalent in Lenoir County, we feel the safety measures we have put into place will keep our patients, visitors and staff safe even with these changes,” said Robert Enders, President and CEO. “The UNC Lenoir team is highly trained and will respond to COVID-19 as the professionals that they are.  Additional changes may become necessary as we adapt to this changing healthcare environment and we continue to evaluate the best ways to protect and care for our patients” 

The community is reminded to practice appropriate social distancing, wash hands frequently, contact your primary care provider if you develop respiratory symptoms or call the UNC Health Line at 1-888-850-2684. Please do not visit the hospital, except as a patient, if you have any COVID-19 symptoms or have been exposed to anyone with COVID-19.

Information on COVID-19 (the Coronavirus) may be found at  Changes in hospital operations may be found on our Facebook page.

 June 2, 2020

UNC Lenoir Health Care to Resume Elective Surgery

UNC Lenoir Health Care plans to resume elective surgeries and procedures starting Monday, May 18, 2020. Following Governor Roy Cooper’s Executive Order in early March, the Department of Surgery at UNC Lenoir voluntarily suspended all surgical services deemed to be non-urgent or elective.  The hospital continued to provide emergent and urgent services during this time.   

With direction from Gov. Cooper, the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services has lifted restrictions on performing elective cases.

The resumption of cases at UNC Lenoir will proceed with the highest safety measures in place.  All precautions for infection prevention, access controls, social distancing, and patient flow have been taken to maintain a safe environment of care.  The daily number of procedures will be initially limited for a few weeks.  Cleaning and disinfection throughout the surgical unit and waiting areas have been intensified.

All patients scheduled for surgery or other invasive procedures will be tested for COVID-19 in advance of the procedure.  Elective patients who test positive for COVID-19 will be deferred. The hospital continues to closely monitor its inventory of test kits, personal protective equipment, medications, and other needed supplies to ensure sufficient resources are available to support the number of patients in care.

“As we reopen elective procedures, our physicians and care team will work diligently to keep every patient safe.” said Robert Enders, President and CEO of UNC Lenoir.  “It is important to reopen our services to those in need as long as it can be done safely.  We will continue to monitor the situation and make further adjustments as needed.”  Mr. Enders also wanted to remind the community that most of its services remain open at UNC Lenoir, including the emergency department, to care for any health emergencies such as chest pain, heart attacks, strokes, and other serious medical conditions.

The hospital continues to care for COVID-19 inpatients.  Visitor restrictions remain in effect.  Masks must be worn at all times while in the facility.

April 9, 2020

Hospital Main Entrance Hours Changed

As of April 10, 2020, the main lobby of the hospital located near the fountain will be closed on Saturdays and Sundays and open Monday - Friday 8:00 AM - 5:00 PM. The Emergency Department continues to be open at all times.

Virtual Visitation Options

Due to the Coronavirus we have had to restrict visitation to patients in the hospital. This is for everyone's safety especially our patients. If you need an update on your loved one or information on how to contact them virtually, please call 252-522-7847. You may also find instructions on how to use your hand held device to visit your loved one at this link.

Masking of Employees

On April 8, 2020 hospital leadership mandated that all employees wear masks in the hospital.  This is another safety precaution to make sure we are doing everything we can to protect our patients, providers, physicians, and employees.

March 30, 2020

Visitor Options

While the threat of COVID-19 is so high, we have implemented several ways to check on your loved one during this time of visitor restriction.

The quickest and most efficient way for you to visit your loved one would be on your hand held device. Instructions on how to use your phone, computer, Ipad, or other device to connect with your loved one are available. Please know that we have public WiFi at the hospital that can be used through FaceTime on Apple Devices or Google Duo on Android Devices. Other ways to use hand held devices to communicate are mentioned on the attached document.

Cheer Cards are available on the hospital website and can be used to send a message to a patient in the hospital. You may access the Cheer Card option at this link. Cheer cards are delivered to patients daily, usually in the late afternoon.

Patient Relations is also an option for a patient update. If needed, you may contact them Monday - Friday from 8:30 to 5:00 p.m. to assist you. A patient representative will go to your loved one's room and check on them, give them a message for you and call you back with an update on your patient's condition. Please know that the patient representative will call you back as soon as possible but this could take some time. This service may be reach by calling 252-522-7847 or 252-522-7135.

March 23,2020

Hours of Operation Changed to Protect Patients and Staff

The Main Entrance will be open:

Monday - Friday 8 AM - 5 PM

Saturday - Closed

Sunday - Closed

The Emergency Department entrance continues to be open at all times.

Visitor Restrictions Prohibit Visitation Except In Certain Cases

For the health and safety of our patients and staff, the following VISITOR RESTRICTIONS are now in effect:

1. DO NOT VISIT if you have any of the following symptoms: fever, cough or shortness of breath

2. No visitors under the age of 18

3. No other visitors except:

• Adult inpatients requiring a caregiver essential to patient’s care OR pediatric inpatients are allowed one visitor.

• Inpatients during discharge instructions.

• One visitor per patient during labor, delivery and post-partum.

• One visitor per patient during visit to emergency department.

• One visitor per patient during surgery.

• One visitor per outpatient requiring special assistance.

• PEDIATRIC PATIENTS are permitted two parent/guardian visitors.

4. Other special restrictions may apply.

All visitors must wash their hands or use hand sanitizer when entering

and exiting patient areas. Personal masks will not be provided except under certain conditions for patient safety. All visitors are subject to screening at designated entry points.


Emergency Department


One companion is permitted to accompany each ADULT EMERGENCY ROOM patient. The companion may accompany the patient to the treatment room and remain for a short period but must return to the waiting area for the remainder of the visit unless there are extenuating circumstances.

Two parents/guardians are permitted to accompany each PEDIATRIC EMERGENCY ROOM patient. Both parents/guardians may accompany the patient to the treatment area and remain for a brief period but ONE parent/guardian must return to the waiting area for the remainder of the visit unless there are extenuating circumstances.

No Visitors Under The Age Of 18.

Press Release

UNC Lenoir Health Care Adapting Care To Meet COVID-19 Patient Needs
KINSTON, NC – March 23, 2020 – Due to the spread of coronavirus / COVID-19 in North Carolina, UNC Lenoir Health Care announced today, in an effort to prevent patient and staff exposure to the spreading coronavirus, it is no longer permitting visitors to the inpatient areas until further notice. In addition, the number of entrances at the hospital will be limited. Any visitors under 18 years old are still not allowed and visitors older than 65, pregnant or are immunocompromised are strongly encourage to not visit.

Exceptions to the restrictions are in place, however, one visitor each will be allowed for pediatric patients’ laboring mothers, companions of an Emergency Department patient and as deemed appropriate by our Chief Nursing Officer. The number of visitors for end-of-life situations will be determined on a case-by-case basis.

The health system’s previously enacted restrictions limited patients to one visitor each during the duration of their stay and made visitors subject to a health screening at any chosen time

A statement on UNC health’s website explains the decision to further restrict tis visitor policies.

These restrictions have been put in place to protect everyone’s safety. The best scientific data and expertise inform us that “social distancing” is an essential element in successful efforts to contain the spread of COVID-19. We must do our part to support these guidelines and remain a good community partner. We also encourage you to use electronic communication for “virtual visitation,” such as FaceTime and Skype, in place of in-person visitation wherever possible. We appreciate your understanding at this time.

In addition to sharing its new visitor policies, the hospital is asking the community for donations of important medical supplies, as the systems prepare to help more COVID-19 patients. N95 masks, surgical masks and nasal swabs are the items of the highest priority.

The community is reminded to practice appropriate social distancing, wash hands frequently, contact your primary care provider if you develop respiratory symptoms.

Information on COVID-19 (the Coronavirus) may be found at Changes in hospital operations may be found on our Facebook page.

Contact Us

For more information or to schedule an appointment, call UNC Lenoir Health Care today at 252-522-7000.

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