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Editorial: ‘Meets the criteria’

Anyone listening to a police scanner serving the local rescue squads will have heard those three words with increasing frequency over the past few weeks.

“The patient presents with elevated temperature and difficulty breathing. Meets the criteria,” a rescue squad member out on a call might say as she alerts the hospital of a new arrival headed their way.

She doesn’t need to say exactly what criteria the patient meets. The shorthand, sadly, has become all too familiar.

COVID-19 is making its presence felt locally.

Numbers are surging nationwide, as predicted, as more gatherings move indoors and not everyone is practicing the basic steps necessary to slow the spread—frequent hand washing, maintaining at least six feet of distance from one another and wearing a mask in public.

Last week, governors in both Virginia and North Carolina instituted measures designed to mitigate the spread of the coronavirus, including more stringent mask requirements, modified Stay at Home orde...

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