Area hospitals are taking measures to slow the spread of the COVID-19 respiratory disease, caused by a coronavirus that is highly contagious.

Raleigh General Hospital is temporarily suspending all visitors to the hospital, beginning on Sunday, March 22, in an effort to slow the spread of the virus that causes the lower respiratory disease. 

Raleigh General Marketing Coordinator Courtney White said hospital staff will work case-by-case with visitors who have a family member who is critically ill or injured.

Charleston Area Medical Center in Charleston is not allowing visitors. The ban on visitors started on Friday.

All CAMC facilities are under the visitor ban, and some essential caregivers are not permitted to visit.

“No one will be permitted to be with the patient, with a few exceptions,” a CAMC press release states. “One essential caregiver will be permitted in pediatrics, labor and delivery and the NICU for the duration of the patient’s stay.”

Visitors for end-of-life care patients will be authorized on a case-by-case basis.

Beckley ARH Hospital in Beckley is offering a separate screening area for patients experiencing respiratory symptoms such as fever, coughing or difficulty breathing. The ARH COVID-19 Hotline is open from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m., seven days a week, to field questions regarding COVID-19 symptoms, testing and prevention. The number is 606-439-7100.

Boone Memorial Hospital, in an email alert, announced Sunday night that it was banning all visitors to the facility, including its clinics, effective immediately.

Eight cases of COVID-19 had been confirmed in the state on Friday, including a case at CAMC.

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