Published on September 10, 2021

UNC Health Southeastern to require COVID-19 vaccination for most hospital visitors

Vice President and Chief Engagement Officer Patrick Ebri, PhDVice President and Chief Engagement Officer Patrick Ebri, PhD

UNC Health Southeastern is taking every step necessary to protect our patients, visitors and our employees. On September 21, the health system will begin requesting visitors to the medical center to show proof of COVID-19 vaccination.

“Our region’s low vaccination rates and the recent surge in COVID-19 patients have forced us to adjust our visitor requirements,” said UNC Health Southeastern Vice President and Chief Engagement Officer Patrick Ebri, PhD, whose responsibility areas include Guest Services and Customer Experience. “As the pandemic situation continues to evolve, we will make further changes as needed.”

Visitors that fall under the vaccine requirement category for adult patients with no cognitive challenges will be asked to show their vaccination card upon registration. If vaccination cards are not available, UNC Health Southeastern staff will verify vaccination status using the North Carolina Vaccine Database. Anyone vaccinated outside of North Carolina and not listed in the state database must provide proof of vaccination to visit medical center patients.

Southeastern Regional Medical Center buildingIn some cases, being vaccinated will be strongly recommended instead of required. These include medical center visitors who accompany children, birthing mothers, patients with cognitive challenges, and those who are visiting end-of-life care patients. Vaccination will also be strongly recommended for necessary support persons at outpatient clinics and facilities. Emergency Department visitors are currently allowed only in extreme medical circumstances with recommended vaccination. Visitation at WoodHaven continues to follow state and federal guidelines.

Individuals interested in scheduling an appointment for a COVID-19 vaccine may schedule vaccination appointments by calling UNC Health Southeastern primary care clinics directly or scheduling through the Call Center at 1-844-735-8864.