Unprecedented broadcast event aims to flatten the COVID-19 curve


ROANOKE, Va. (WFXR) – In a historic first, health care and broadcast entities across western Virginia are teaming up under a shared goal: flattening the COVID-19 curve.

On Monday, April 6 at 7 p.m., clinicians from the Virginia Department of Health, Carilion Clinic, LewisGale Medical Center and the Salem VA Medical Center are partnering to host a panel discussion on COVID-19, “Coronavirus: A Community Conversation.”

Panelists will answer questions from the public, which will be collected and submitted by participating broadcasters. Topics will include:

  • A situational brief for the region and health systems
  • What people need to do
  • How community members can plan and help

The hour-long event will be aired live on all five regional television network affiliates (WDBJ, WFXR, WSET, WSLS and PBS Blue Ridge) and three regional radio stations (WFIR, WVTF and WLNI). Partners will also provide digital access through their online streaming services.

“As local community servants and first informers, we are very proud to be teaming up with community health care experts for this unprecedented hour-long broadcast,” said Douglas F. Easter, executive director for the Virginia Association of Broadcasters. “The broadcasters of Virginia want you to know that we are here for you and we will continue to work as hard as we can for our local communities in these unprecedented times of need. We can all work together to beat this terrible disease.”

To adhere to social distancing guidelines, participating broadcasters are strategically pooling resources to minimize the number of production staff required to be on site for the actual event. All broadcasters are collaborating in virtual planning meetings with the healthcare systems to ensure smooth production.

This scale of collaboration is unprecedented. In a time of such uncertainty, it takes an entire community to flatten the COVID-19 curve. In western Virginia, health care and broadcast partners are bridging the gap to ensure that residents have accurate and reliable information to combat COVID-19.

The public is invited to tune in to the live event on Monday, April 6 at 7 p.m.

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