An image of the coronavirus, the virus responsible for the coronavirus pandemic, a virus that has many points protruding out of it. The virus has disproportionally affected African Americans. This is also used in stories about coronavirus in North Carolina
The World Health Organization declared a coronavirus pandemic on March 11. Source: CDC

Are you a health care worker? We’d love to hear from you. Email editor at northcarolinahealthnews.org

Since the new strain of coronavirus was first reported out of Wuhan, China NC Health News reporters have kept our ears open for news of COVID-19 (the official moniker for coronavirus disease 2019). The disease is a novel version of a coronavirus, other examples include SARS, MERS and the common cold.  We’ll update this page with each of our stories on the coronavirus pandemic as we publish them. We’re also keeping an eye on the most recent case tally in the state. Visit the timeline at the bottom of the page for more information.

COVID-19 cases, deaths, hospitalizations and vaccination

Vaccine and a haircut? Could be!

The owner of The Bar Ber Shop in Raleigh, a community hub that often addresses public health concerns, says he’s up for hosting COVID vaccine clinics.

Cooper, GOP aim budget toward more senior needs

Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper and GOP budget writers appear to be on the same page about providing vital services and protection to the state’s growing number of older and disabled people. The proof will be in the 2021-2023 budget they’ll have to agree on.

COVID-19 Q&A – Your questions answered

Want to ask a question about the novel coronavirus? Leave us a message here.

06/10/2021: Coronavirus Today – June 10 — Your chance to win!! NC has a vaccine lottery with million dollar prizes and college

While fighting to move beyond the coronavirus pandemic, North Carolina’s public health team has been transforming the Medicaid system, too.

06/05/2021: UNC professor, state track COVID-19 trends in wastewater

Researchers at University of North Carolina Institute of Marine Sciences began more than a year ago tracking in wastewater the virus that causes COVID-19, just as the pandemic was beginning to sweep across the globe.

06/03/2021: This nursing student had doubts about her career choice during COVID-19

NC community college and university administrators say it’s too soon to know how the coronavirus pandemic affected interest in health-related fields. Some say the pandemic cemented their choices.

06/02/2021: Coronavirus Today – June 2 — Cash for COVID-19 vaccines; Staving off evictions; GOP panel nixes governor’s environmental pick

Gov. Roy Cooper discusses vaccine incentives, housing aid and his nomination for DEQ.

05/28/2021: Leaving Lockdown: How to return to normalcy post-pandemic

After more than a year away from activities we once deemed normal, many of us are beginning the process of emerging from the pandemic. We’ve talked to experts to help you navigate the emotional side of the process ahead of the summer months.

05/24/2021: “I figured you were OK”: Black patients’ COVID symptoms more often dismissed, downplayed

When Douglas McClain contracted COVID-19, his experience with the health care system mirrored that of far too many Black people.

05/23/2021: Why do we get shots in the arm? It’s all about the muscle

Millions have rolled up their sleeves for the COVID-19 vaccine, but why haven’t they rolled up their pants legs instead? Why do we get most shots in our arms?

05/20/2021: The next ‘new normal’: Navigating the pandemic with full immunity

North Carolina’s residents have gotten a collective 8 million vaccine doses in recent months. But the rules of this post-vaccination existence, however, aren’t so simple.

05/19/2021: Coronavirus Today – May 19 Here’s how Gov. Cooper wants to spend $5.7 billion in federal COVID funds; A dose of fun with your vaccine

Gov. Roy Cooper describes federal coronavirus relief aid as ‘transformational.’

05/17/2021: Searching for answers while living with long-haul COVID

Perdensal Springs was diagnosed with COVID-19 seven months ago. She no longer tests positive for the virus but she is far from recovered.

5/14/2021: Coronavirus Today – May 14 – Shedding masks in NC

Gov. Roy Cooper does away with most mask requirements, crowd restrictions and social distancing measures

04/30/2021: State, federal laws may shield long-term care from liability beyond pandemic

2020 laws passed to protect health care providers during the pandemic could be blocking efforts to pursue potential negligence cases in long-term care.

04/28/2021: Coronavirus Today – Apr. 28 — Peeling back the mask mandate for outdoors

North Carolinians will soon be able to go outside without wearing face coverings and not be in violation of the state’s mask mandate.

04/27/2021: ‘I believe we can roar into the future together,’ governor tells lawmakers

In his State of the State address, Roy Cooper urges compromise, not partisan bickering.

04/23/2021: You can get a COVID-19 vaccine at this dentist’s offices

Michael Riccobene is offering the Moderna vaccine to his patients

04/21/2021: Coronavirus Today – Apr. 21 — Most COVID restrictions to be lifted in June if two-thirds of adults are vaccinated

Gov. Roy Cooper dangles a carrot for the vaccine hesitant. Keep those masks around, though.

04/21/2021: North Carolina prisons reopen visits for children, extend time limits

Because of COVID restrictions, it’s been months children have been able to incarcerated relatives. Some restrictions will still apply.

04/17/2021: NC prisons running out of people willing to accept COVID vaccine

Health experts worry NC prisons will fall short of COVID-19 vaccination levels needed for herd immunity.

04/14/2021: More people died than were born last year in more than half of NC’s counties

Sixty-four counties had more deaths than births in 2020, largely due to the pandemic. Data in several of North Carolina’s largest counties suggests the number may be even higher.

04/13/2021: Coronavirus Today – April 13 — North Carolina recommends a temporary halt on Johnson & Johnson COVID vaccine

As the CDC and FDA pause administration of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, public health leaders call the events “extremely rare.”

04/12/2021: Celebrating the COVID-19 vaccine at this Hispanic community clinic

LATIN-19 combats mixed messaging about IDs and COVID-19 vaccines.

04/6/2021: Coronavirus Today – April 6 — Event, concert planners to get a head’s up for July 4th; Another name for Medicaid expansion?

Though it’s only April, Gov. Roy Cooper and his public health team are looking ahead to the Fourth of July. Cooper and Mandy Cohen, secretary of the state Department of Health and Human Services, told reporters Tuesday that over the next week they will develop a forecast for what North Carolinians might expect for the summer holiday.

04/06/2021: A doc recounts her year on the front lines of the COVID pandemic

Charlotte physician Melissa James reflects on how the pandemic played out for her many patients of color. Some encounters still haunt her.

04/03/2021: If this self-sufficient hospital cannot stand alone, can any public hospital survive?

In America’s health care system, dominated by hospital chain leviathans, New Hanover Regional Medical Center in Wilmington, North Carolina, is an anomaly. It is a publicly owned hospital that boasts good care at lower prices than most and still flourishes financially. Nonetheless, New Hanover County is selling the hospital to one of the state’s biggest health care systems.

04/02/2021: As variants lurk, continued COVID testing is crucial

Communities to get rapid, at-home COVID tests, even as the number, rate of testing falls.

03/31/2021: The bumpy road to vaccine trial participation–Part III

Our reporter had trouble being chosen to participate in a COVID-19 vaccine trial, despite being in several risk groups that vaccine makers said they wanted to target. Finally, she was chosen for a clinical trial, but it still wasn’t easy.

03/30/2021: Community health centers get new funds to tackle the COVID vaccination gap

North Carolina’s community health centers received a collective $161 million to bolster vaccine outreach to people of color and other marginalized communities.

03/26/2021: Long-term care facility restrictions lifted

North Carolina families reunited after more than a year of socially distanced visits.

03/25/2021: Coronavirus Today – March 25 — Vaccine eligibility open to anyone 16 and older on April 7; Healthier Together partnership

As some counties struggle to fill vaccine spots, Gov. Roy Cooper accelerates shot eligibility for 16 and older.

03/25/2021: Gov. Roy Cooper’s proposed budget could get things hopping in the legislature

The legislature started out slowly this year, but will negotiations between the GOP and Democrats about Medicaid expansion kickstart other priorities?

03/24/2021: Getting vaccine to homebound North Carolinians takes extra logistics, effort

Some folks can’t make it to a vaccination clinic. Instead, someone has to go to them in what will be a painstaking process to get vaccines to every last person who wants one.

03/23/2021: Coronavirus Today – March 23 — COVID restrictions eased for bars, restaurants, sports and entertainment venues; Mask mandate remains

As vaccinations go up, Gov. Roy Cooper says COVID restrictions can go down.

03/21/2021: To vaccinate thousands, NC turns to volunteers

The COVID-19 vaccine effort runs on volunteers. Getting diverse volunteers is both a challenge and a priority.

03/21/2021: ‘Why do I put my life on the line?’ Pandemic trauma haunts health workers

Nationwide, an increasing number of health care workers are experiencing mental health symptoms related to the trauma of caring for COVID-19 patients.

03/20/2021: Federal program gets vaccines to qualified facilities, rural residents, migrant workers

The Health Center Covid-19 Vaccine Program is a major step toward vaccinating the migrant workforce, keeping America’s agricultural operations unobstructed, the White House says.

03/19/2021: Who would get that last ventilator? Disability advocates say NC’s protocol fell short.

Health care leaders in North Carolina came up with a protocol to guide practice in the event COVID would require rationing care. But federal regulators said it fell short.

03/19/2021: Overcoming his COVID vaccine skepticism at FEMA clinic

The federally sponsored high-volume vaccine clinic in Greensboro administers 3,000 vaccines seven days a week.

03/17/2021: Coronavirus Today – March 17 – Planning for Passover, Easter; Encouraging trends, metrics; Post-pandemic optimism

Gov. Roy Cooper hints that more COVID-19 restrictions could be eased next week.

03/15/2021: As many NC nursing homes open to visitors, advocates say they’ll watch the details

After a year of barring most visits to nursing homes because of COVID-19, federal regulators have mostly opened doors to loved ones. But questions remain about how the new policies will work, NC advocates and relatives say.

03/14/2021: New guidance on life after COVID vaccination

New Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines offer looser rules for people who’ve received both doses of either Pfizer or Moderna or a single dose of Johnson & Johnson vaccines.

03/14/2021: DOL watchdog: OSHA’s virtual inspections during pandemic likely led to dangerous workplaces

While complaints increased, overall inspections dramatically decreased, according to the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Inspector General.

03/12/2021: Awaiting trial, and the vaccine: What about people in jails?

ICE detainees. Inmates awaiting trial. Overflow prisoners. Where do people in jail fall in North Carolina’s vaccine plan?

03/11/2021: Will your dentist give you a COVID-19 vaccine?

Some North Carolina dentists consider becoming vaccinators.

03/09/2021: Coronavirus Today – March 9 – More than 1.1 million vaccinated with hugs on horizon; NC works on equitable distribution

With nearly 10 percent of the NC population vaccinated, Gov. Roy Cooper offers cautious optimism.

03/08/2021: Vaccinations in Black and White: Hesitancy or exclusion?

Two months into the vaccine rollout, Black North Carolinians continue to lag behind white residents.

03/05/2021: NC prison agency changes policy and COVID death count following NC Health News-VICE investigation of underreporting

To ensure accurate counts in the future, NC will now check prison death reporting alongside official death documents. It could impact other prisoners who died of COVID-19-related causes and were not reported, according to an ongoing NC Health News investigation.

03/03/2021: “I can sleep better tonight.” New priority for people with disabilities.

Families and advocates are cheering the decision to bump up vaccine priority for people with disabilities.

03/02/2021: Coronavirus Today – March 2 – Vaccines for frontline workers; Some college students up soon; More access for disabled

Frontline workers in NC are eligible for COVID-19 vaccines beginning March 3.

03/02/2021: Is youth suicide increasing in North Carolina during the pandemic?

It’s hard to say. Mental illness is certainly on the rise in young people. But is suicide also ticking up?

03/01/2021: What we’ve lost to coronavirus

Nearly a year into a pandemic that changed everything, North Carolina’s losses continue to multiply.

02/24/2021: Coronavirus Today – Feb. 24 – Bars can open indoors; COVID curfew lifted; Larger crowds at sports arenas and entertainment venues

As North Carolina’s COVID-19 trends and metrics stabilize, Gov. Roy Cooper eases restrictions.

02/24/2021: COVID-19 variants have come to NC. What does it mean?

Our metrics are looking better statewide, but the arrival of new variants prompts questions about vaccine effectiveness.

02/22/2021: Only 35% of NC prison staff willing to take vaccine

Vaccination is currently optional for prison staff.

02/20/2021: Without a ride, many in need have no shot at COVID-19 vaccine

While state and local governments have been busy planning for and distributing vaccines, many have left out an important piece: how to provide transportation to people who can’t get to those sites.

02/19/2021: Will NC collect data on LGBT people and COVID?

The CDC called on states to begin tracking gender and sexual identity in their COVID-19 data. Will North Carolina take their advice?

02/18/2021: Coronavirus Today – Feb. 18 – Adverse weather delays COVID vaccines; Governor has issues with school bill; High school game crowd size

As North Carolina’s COVID-19 trends and metrics improve, Gov. Roy Cooper gives hints about the next executive order.

02/18/2021: Once used to fight outbreaks, ‘strike teams’ fill gaps in nursing home vaccinations

The disaster response teams are aiding long-term care homes that didn’t sign up for the CVS-Walgreens program.

02/17/2021: As the long-term care industry shifts, COVID-19 shortchanges NC’s frontline workers

Winds of change already shook NC long-term care industry at the beginning of 2020, but the threatening COVID-19 virus posed more questions in customary practices and workers’ compensation.

02/16/2021: Fabian Tinsley is buried somewhere in this field. His family doesn’t know where.

Tinsley was an inmate at the Federal Correctional Institution Butner when he contracted COVID and died. Even before his family was notified, his body was placed in an unmarked grave.

02/15/2021: Prisons contribute to racial imbalance in COVID-19 impact in NC

Inequity in sentencing and building more prisons in mostly Black communities add up to increased COVID-19 among people of color, including prison workers, inside and outside of NC prisons.

02/13/2021: An in-depth look at COVID-19 vaccine questions: Effects of the shot

As more people are receiving COVID-19 vaccines, we take a look at common misconceptions about the effects of the shot.

02/12/2021: Congressional subcommittee launches investigation into coronavirus outbreaks at meatpacking plants

The subcommittee says the plants refused to take basic precautions to protect workers and showed a “callous disregard” for their health.

02/11/2021: The COVID-19 learning gap

Remote learning in the pandemic has laid bare inequities in access to broadband and learning resources, making it difficult for rural, poor and minority communities to keep up.

02/10/2021: Coronavirus Today – Feb. 10 – Teachers, child care workers eligible for vaccines Feb. 24; Still more demand than doses; Lawmaker update

After pushing for schools to hold in-person classes, Gov. Roy Cooper moves teachers and other school employees to the head of the line of essential workers.

02/10/2021: In the rural race to distribute COVID vaccines, a piecemeal approach

From outreach to remote areas to assistance from the National Guard, rural providers are trying to reach isolated seniors everywhere. But staffing, low vaccine allocations and transportation barriers have gotten in the way.

02/09/2021: Coronavirus Today – Feb. 9: Deaths top 10,000; Vaccine roll out focuses on equity and efficiency

As COVID-19 death toll tops 10,000, the NC public health team works to administer vaccines equitably and efficiently.

02/09/2021: NC claims fewer prisoners died of COVID than documents show. Why does that matter?

A North Carolina Health News and VICE News investigation found this undercount is likely not unique to North Carolina, and could be happening in dozens of states across the country.

02/05/2021: COVID-19 stressors fuel surge in overdoses of contaminated street drugs

We talked to health workers on the front lines of the opioid epidemic across the state to hear how the coronavirus pandemic has affected people who use drugs.

02/04/2021: Coronavirus Today – Feb. 4 – Governor’s pandemic spending plan; Recommends teacher bonuses; Lawmakers pass COVID relief proposal

The governor offers a spending proposal to continue the fight against COVID-19 while creating recovery and rebuilding programs.

02/04/2021: Domestic violence dramatically increased in North Carolina last year

The virus is making it more difficult for victims to seek help.

02/03/2021: The next battle in the COVID wars: Teachers vs. politicians, parents

A Wayne County teacher’s fight against COVID-19 underscores the unpredictability of the virus.

02/02/2021: Coronavirus Today – Feb. 2 – Calling all school districts to offer in-person instruction; Teachers push back; Fireside chat with Rev. Barber

Citing new studies that show little to no spread of COVID-19 in schools, the governor and top education officials push to reopen classrooms.

01/27/2021: Coronavirus Today – Jan. 27: COVID-19 curfew extended; NC to get more first doses each week

As North Carolina’s metrics and trends show signs of leveling after holiday spikes, there are new worries about the more contagious COVID variant.

01/26/2021: Coronavirus Today – Jan. 26 Clearing vaccine backlog; Clash with providers, distribution tweaks; Find your vaccine group

After facing criticism for slow vaccine administration, North Carolina clears backlog and tweaks its distribution process.

01/26/2021: Shifting allocations cause confusion for vaccine seekers, frustration for local health departments

Changes in the allotment of vaccines force health providers to delay and reschedule appointments as the state grapples with the low supply.

01/25/2021: Fatal crashes rise in N.C. during pandemic, even though driving was way down

Failure to wear seat belts, speeding and emotional distractions are blamed for some of the fatalities.

01/22/2021: Concerns grow over COVID fatalities in NC assisted living facilities

Assisted living centers in North Carolina and nationally notice growth in the numbers of COVID-related cases and deaths.

01/21/2021: Coronavirus Today – Jan. 21 Trying to smooth out vaccine rollout; Biden pandemic plan; Free transit rides for a shot

A year after the first COVID-19 case was reported in the U.S., North Carolina is looking to a new president for help fighting the pandemic.

01/21/2021: Vaccines arrive to NC’s prisons

Incarcerated people and staff who are 75 or older began to receive the vaccine yesterday.

01/20/2021: For some long-term care residents, vaccine comes too late

What happens when an outbreak strikes a facility while residents inside wait for a vaccine?

01/16/2021: Poll finds rural residents more hesitant to get vaccinated

About a third of rural residents are reluctant get to vaccinated, while about a quarter of metropolitan residents are.

01/15/2021: Providers, health directors push back on complaints of slow vaccine rollout

Some local health officials say vaccine administration would have started faster if there had been more certainty and funding for their efforts.

01/14/2021: Coronavirus Today – Jan. 14 – People 65 and older now eligible for COVID vaccine; New simplified, streamlined distribution plan; Large vaccination events

North Carolina changed its vaccine distribution plan to give providers more agility to vaccinate more people quickly.

01/14/2021: Family health workers feel left behind by NC’s vaccination rollout

People who work at long term care facilities were some of the first in line for the COVID-19 vaccine. Unpaid caregivers – those who care for their elderly parents or other relatives at home – aren’t being given the same priority.

01/13/2021: The bumpy road to vaccine trial participation – Part II

Last week, we learned that our reporter had trouble being chosen to participate in a COVID-19 vaccine trial, despite being in several risk groups that vaccine makers said they wanted to target. Finally, she was chosen for a clinical trial, which meant even more waiting.

01/12/2021: Coronavirus Today – Jan. 12 – Cooper calls out “dangerous rhetoric;” Lawmakers criticize vaccine rollout; Large vaccine events coming

NC lawmakers grill Mandy Cohen, DHHS secretary, about slower than expected COVID vaccine administration, on a day when Gov. Cooper drew parallels between political violence and coronavirus denial.

01/12/2021: Did rapid antigen tests help fuel after-Christmas surge of COVID-19?

Despite their good intentions, some people who tested negative for the coronavirus using a rapid antigen test before visiting friends and family over Christmas may have developed a false sense of security. A new report shows that the rapid test missed the virus in nearly 60 percent of people who were infected but not yet showing symptoms.

01/11/2021: COVID vaccines will come for NC prison staff first, then inmates

NC prisons will soon receive their first doses of the COVID-19 vaccine. The current distribution plan prioritizes staff over inmates, regardless of inmates’ increased risk.

01/08/2021: Coronavirus Today – Jan. 8 – New record COVID case counts and hospitalizations; More vaccine plan details; UNC-CH delays in-person classes

Even as vaccine distribution begins, North Carolina’s top public health official is the “most worried” she’s been since the start of the pandemic.

01/08/2021: NC hospitals near capacity as coronavirus hammers the state

North Carolina’s coronavirus cases have ballooned in recent weeks and medical facilities are quickly filling up.

01/07/2021: When and where your county is distributing the COVID-19 vaccine

Looking for information about where to get vaccinated near you? Check our listing, which will be updated often.

01/07/2021: Vaccine rollout starts out bumpy, expected to ramp up across the state

As North Carolina begins to vaccinate residents 75 and older, they want to know how and where to get their shot.

01/06/2021: Coronavirus Today – Jan 6 – NC curfew extended; National Guard assists with vaccine distribution; Ninety-six red and orange counties

Gov. Roy Cooper extends statewide curfew with a strong directive from his top public health official.

01/06/2021: The bumpy road to vaccine trial participation

As a minority, I wanted to participate in a vaccine study. I had no idea how difficult that would be.

01/05/2021: Western NC college students combat COVID

Six institutes of higher education – both public and private – collaborated to keep coronavirus cases low.

01/04/2021: 2021: COVID still looms large

Here’s what is on the horizon for the new year as the state continues to battle COVID and environmental issues.

12/30/2020: A look back at 2020’s biggest story: The COVID-19 pandemic

NC Health News staffers have published more than 350 stories about COVID in 2020. We take a look at the many ways, large and small, that COVID has affected North Carolina and its population and pull out some of the larger themes we saw emerge.

12/30/2020: Coronavirus Today – Dec. 30 Which COVID-19 vaccine phase are you in?; If you’re 75 and older, a shot might be available in January; Eviction moratorium extended

North Carolina adds more details to the COVID-19 equitable vaccine distribution plan, cautions against violating prioritizations.

12/29/2020: Returning to workout after COVID? Not so fast.

Returning to exercise after coronavirus can be a difficult and long process, even for people whose infection did not require hospitalization.

12/23/2020: Get a vaccine, share a ‘vaxxie’, Alan Alda suggests

During a Duke Science and Society webinar, Alan Alda and Anthony Fauci discuss how to rebuild faith in public science agencies.

12/22/2020: Coronavirus Today – Dec. 22 – Pastors share virtual Christmas plans; Cocktails to go; Vaccines to nursing homes; More red and orange counties

COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations and deaths hit new records as North Carolina battles a Thanksgiving case surge with Christmas only days away.

12/22/2020: Rural areas see a rise in demand for adult diapers

The economic devastation of coronavirus has hit some older adults particularly hard, driving up demand for diapers and other sanctuary products in social service agencies across the state.

12/19/2020: ‘Sick Buildings’ Add to COVID-Linked Inequity

A task force established earlier this year to address inequalities amplified by COVID-19 in communities of color recommends looking at pressing public health issues such as the “sick building” problem that can increase the spread of the coronavirus.

12/16/2020: COVID vaccines are on the way. We break down what you need to know.

Medical workers across the state received their first shots of the Pfizer vaccine against COVID-19 at the very beginning of what will be a complicated rollout.

12/15/ 2020: Coronavirus Today – Dec. 15 – Vaccine distribution war room; Pfizer allotments are here; Federal allotment scheduling trouble

North Carolina celebrates the opening of its vaccine distribution plan as COVID-19 Thanksgiving surge gets ‘staggering.’

12/15/2020: As COVID strain on health systems magnifies, preventative care has not yet bounced back

Canceled doctor’s appointments and delayed medical procedures have caused a dip in child vaccinations and cancer screenings. A sizable chunk of those patients have not yet caught up on their care.

12/11/2020: In the year of COVID, many older people fare best at a different kind of holiday celebration

Older people’s concerns about COVID-19 are bringing additional stress to a season that already held difficult realities along with happy memories. Changes in caregivers’ practices, expectations and attitudes can help smooth the holidays, say North Carolinians who provide care for seniors including those with dementia.

12/10/2020: Coronavirus Today – Dec. 10 – Vaccine planning without all puzzle pieces; Temporary side effects; Latinx data collection concerns; Hospital staffing challenges

With vaccines due to arrive in NC in just days, top NC public health officials share details about state distribution plan.

12/10/2020: NC hospitals to reach ICU capacity by January if COVID trends continue

Hospitals across the state are bracing for a coronavirus surge that could push them to the brink.

12/9/2020: Vaccines are coming to NC’s prisons. Who should get first priority?

A future COVID-19 vaccine is coming to North Carolina’s prisons – but exactly who will get first priority remains a contentious subject.

12/8/2020: Coronavirus Today – Dec. 8 – Governor imposes NC curfew; Hospital bed shortages could be weeks away; Stay home for the holidays

Gov. Roy Cooper issues statewide curfew as COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations top pandemic records.

12/8/2020: COVID funds to fix NC’s rural internet ‘dead zones’ likely won’t be used

More than nine months into a pandemic that underscored deficiencies in rural broadband, many remote communities still lack access to the internet. North Carolina lawmakers earmarked $30 million of the state’s COVID funds to address the issue, but the money likely won’t make it to those projects.

12/7/2020: North Carolina’s post-election challenge: separating the pandemic from politics.

Governor Cooper would like more people to wear masks, but cooperation remains elusive. What will it take to change people’s minds?

12/3/2020: Coronavirus Today – Dec. 3 More grim NC milestones; Explainer on COVID-19 vaccine distribution; ‘No COVID virus in the vaccine itself’

As North Carolina’s COVID-19 metrics and trends move quickly in the wrong direction, public health officials talk about vaccines and masking up still in 2021.

12/3/2020: Some of the worst coronavirus outbreaks in NC are in rural areas

As coronavirus spreads from urban to rural areas, experts worry that longstanding disparities could mean more serious cases and deaths there.

12/1/2020: Coronavirus Today – Dec. 1 NC COVID-19 vaccines to be free; Phased roll-out could begin in weeks; Record hospitalizations in NC

Gov. Roy Cooper offers hope about vaccines while urging North Carolinians to stay strong in the fight against COVID.

11/30/2020: NC’s historically Black colleges keep COVID cases at bay

There are strict social distancing measures students have to follow on campus, such as no throwing parties, and no visitation allowed in their dorm rooms by their friends. Are NCCU students who live on campus following these rules?

11/25/2020: ‘We are all working in fear:’ Migrant workers prepare turkeys amidst COVID fears

As the holiday season draws near, meatpacking workers are preparing poultry for Thanksgiving and Christmas tables across the country. Employees claim some are dying in the process.

11/24/2020: NC farmers field demand for smaller turkeys to accommodate a COVID holiday

As families downsize Thanksgiving plans, they want to set their tables with smaller turkeys.

11/23/2020: Coronavirus Today – Nov. 23 – Mask mandate tightened; Greensboro toughens enforcement

Gov. Roy Cooper tightens mask order as NC COVID-19 case counts jump quickly. “We are in danger,” he said as he ordered stricter enforcement of mask mandates.

11/22/2020: Report: 20 percent of COVID-19 patients develop mental health issues

For rural patients already struggling with access to mental health care, the long term effects of the pandemic could mean even greater barriers in receiving the help they need.

11/22/2020: States’ face-covering mandates leave gaps in protection

While gaiters might look more fashionable than a standard face mask, research shows that these face coverings might not be as effective at stopping transmission of COVID.

11/20/2020: Coronavirus Today – Nov. 20 Chefs share recipes and COVID-19 advice; Daily case records; ‘Unwanted milestones’

Top NC chefs have safety tips for Thanksgiving gatherings amid pandemic’s ‘unwanted milestones.’

11/20/2020: NC commission votes to extend deal for private management of state’s veterans nursing homes

The Georgia-based company that oversees NC’s state veterans nursing homes got approval Tuesday for a one-year contract renewal from the state Veterans Affairs Commission.

11/20/2020: Following best practices early helped prevent COVID spread in nursing homes

Staffing up, amassing PPE, leaning on experience and hitting the three Ws hard helped defeat COVID in many NC nursing homes. This is the second of two stories exploring what skilled nursing facilities can do and have done to prevent COVID infections for the people in their care. This story has been supported by the Solutions Journalism Network, a nonprofit organization dedicated to rigorous and compelling reporting about responses to social problems, http://solutionsjournalism.org.

11/19/2020: COVID-free nursing homes fought hard to keep virus out

More than 200 North Carolina nursing homes have succeeded in totally excluding COVID-19 infections. What did they do right? This is the first of two stories exploring what skilled nursing facilities can do and have done to prevent COVID infections for the people in their care.

This story has been supported by the Solutions Journalism Network, a nonprofit organization dedicated to rigorous and compelling reporting about responses to social problems, http://solutionsjournalism.org.

11/18/2020: New approaches to treating seriously ill COVID patients may persist beyond the pandemic

New approaches to treatment, housing along with collaboration among specialties and hospitals could remain a staple of care in a post-COVID world.

11/17/2020: Coronavirus Today – Nov. 17 – Is your county red, orange or yellow? Seeking compliance cooperation; Not the time to punt

North Carolina will use a color-coded COVID-19 alert system to highlight viral hotspots.

11/17/2020: School-based health centers fill rural provider vacuum

Making healthcare available to students, faculty and staff on campus is vital to well-being in rural areas.

11/16/2020: More farmworker women are bringing their children to work during the pandemic

Throughout this year’s agricultural season, migrant farmworkers have struggled to find child care for young kids who would usually spend their days in classrooms.

11/15/2020: ‘Breakthrough finding’ points to why certain COVID patients die

Information from new studies point to the role of interferons, substances made by our bodies that play a key role in the immune response to disease.

11/12/2020: Coronavirus Today – Nov. 12 COVID spread in rural NC; Testing for holiday travelers and college students; Insurance and travel testing

North Carolina passes a ‘troubling milestone’ in COVID-19 case counts, as the coronavirus spreads through rural counties.

11/12/2020: Housing instability exacerbates the pandemic for the most vulnerable

Stable housing is an essential part of preventing the spread of and recovering from the coronavirus. However, those most at risk from the virus also have a greater risk of homelessness.

11/11/2020: As other states take action, NC punts review of nursing homes where dozens of vets died of COVID-19

As state and federal officials nationally launch investigations and seek solutions in the deaths of hundreds of veterans in state nursing homes, North Carolina says it will look next year into 36 such deaths in its privately managed veterans nursing centers.

11/10/2020: Coronavirus Today – Nov. 10 – Indoor gathering limit lowered weeks before Thanksgiving; Will Mandy Cohen join the Biden cabinet?

As North Carolina’s COVID-19 cases surge and the holidays get closer, Gov. Roy Cooper limits indoor crowds to 10.

11/10/2020: In a county with few options for low-income adults, pandemic curtails charity dental care

The coronavirus pandemic sharply reduced charity dental care for adults in Moore County, placing additional barriers to care for the most vulnerable.

11/9/2020: He tried to sue over COVID-19 conditions at his prison. He died before it was filed.

A new lawsuit seeks relief for people incarcerated inside the deadliest federal prison in the country.

11/7/2020: How COVID Death Counts Become the Stuff of Conspiracy Theories

In the waning days of the campaign, President Donald Trump complained repeatedly about how the United States tracks the number of people who have died from COVID-19, claiming, “This country and its reporting systems are just not doing it right.”

11/6/2020: A Biden win and Republican Senate might lead to gridlock on health issues

Joe Biden ran on adding a public option to supplement insurance from the Affordable Care Act, while Harris supported Medicare for All. Neither idea may get traction in a Republican-dominated Senate.

11/5/2020: Coronavirus Today – Nov. 5 – Will masks still be political post-Election?; Thanksgiving guidelines; 2,800 COVID-19 cases per day

Gov. Roy Cooper would like the pandemic politicization to fade away as NC case counts surge, campaigns wind down and new opportunity arises for coordinated federal response.

11/3/2020: Pepper-sprayed on their way to the polls: What is pepper spray’s impact on children?

The effects of the chemical may be more dangerous for children and medically vulnerable people — and the pandemic might just make things worse.

11/2/2020: How coronavirus changed our health behaviors

From driving demand for contact lenses, supplements and flu shots to delaying health screenings, coronavirus has altered people’s health behaviors in surprising ways.

10/30/2020: Will North Carolina’s jailed voters be represented in this election?

An estimated 128,000 people cycle through North Carolina jails each year. How many will vote in the swing state’s upcoming election?

10/28/2020: Coronavirus Today – Oct. 28 Eviction protection order; ‘Will I be with anyone I don’t live with?’; Charlotte church convocation and 143 cases

COVID-19 case surge in NC linked to small family gatherings, large events and people letting their guard down.

10/28/2020: N.C. officials report thousands deaths from COVID-19. How do we know that’s true?

Here’s how official cause-of-death documents are completed in North Carolina.

10/27/2020: N.C. begins smartphone coronavirus contact tracing, but will enough people use the app?

A survey shows 71 percent of Americans won’t download a tracing app, largely because of privacy concerns. Researchers say widespread use of the app could significantly curtail the spread of COVID-19.

10/23/2020: Who will be first in line in NC’s vaccine distribution plan?

As political rhetoric about vaccines leaves many confused, public health officials and scientists work to stoke confidence.

10/22/2020: Should kids trick-or-treat in 2020? How to celebrate the Day of the Dead.

Duke physicians weigh in on celebrating Halloween and Dia de los Muertos as COVID-19 surges.

10/21/2020: Coronavirus Today – Oct. 21 – Paused in Phase 3; Counties asked to toughen COVID restrictions; Promising treatment underperforms; Veterans’ home outbreaks

Thirty-six NC counties with high COVID-19 transmission asked to consider restriction measures beyond state requirements.

10/21/2020: ‘Somebody dropped the ball:’ Deaths in prisons continued, even as NC COVID cases stabilized

Why have a third of all NC’s prison deaths happened in the last month?

10/15/2020: Coronavirus Today – Oct. 15 – Highest single-day COVID case count; First flu death in NC; Vaccine distribution plan almost complete

One state, two different takes from the governor and the president on the COVID-19 pandemic in NC.

10/13/2020: Coronavirus Today – Oct. 13 – NC numbers going wrong way; Trump coming to Pitt County; Cuomo’s COVID hot-spot plan

As elementary schools open fully and President Donald Trump plans rallies in NC, cases and hospitalizations rise.

10/9/2020: UNC infectious disease expert: White House should pivot on its COVID messaging

David Wohl treats COVID-19 patients, is a vaccine trial investigator, and sets up crucial testing regimens.

10/8/2020: Just as prison family visits were to resume, COVID strikes facility again

As county cases rise following Labor Day weekend, it’s prisoners [and their families] who have borne some of the brunt. Seven incarcerated people have died in less than a month.

10/6/2020: Coronavirus Today – Oct. 6 – Trump’s messaging, Cooper’s response; Mourning App State death; Child care aid

Gov. Roy Cooper calls White House messaging ‘frustrating’ as some of North Carolina’s trends show troubling upticks.

10/6/2020: How do you vote if you live in a nursing home? It can be complicated.

An octogenarian’s story shows the many obstacles to voting in long-term care facilities in 2020.

10/5/2020: Getting out the vote in jail, during a pandemic

How do you safely ensure incarcerated people’s right to vote during a pandemic?

10/2/2020: A brief history of presidents disclosing – or trying to hide – health problems

President Donald Trump is not the first president to be diagnosed with a serious illness while holding office. Presidents have not always been forthcoming about their health, though.

10/1/2020: Researchers wanted to recruit people most impacted by COVID-19 in vaccine trials. How is it going?

The effort to include those most impacted by the virus is an uphill battle given minority populations’ mistrust and barriers to participation in the process. How is UNC’s vaccine study combatting those challenges?

9/30/2020: Coronavirus Today – Sep 30 Bars, movie theaters, amusement parks reopening; NC stable but warning signs of spikes; Swing state with COVID-19

Gov. Roy Cooper turned the ‘dimmer switch’ another notch to reopen bars, theaters, amusement parks at limited capacity.

9/30/2020: Pandemic increases hardships on families, children

Some experts worry the coronavirus pandemic may be contributing to Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs), which could have lifelong consequences.

9/28/2020: Lose your job and health insurance due to COVID-19? Here’s a tip.

Federal agency was mum for months on ‘major life change’ extension to ACA marketplace that could have helped thousands of North Carolinians.

9/26/2020: Colleges’ opening fueled 3,000 COVID cases a day, researchers say

Colleges created reopening plans that did not conform to a single standard, setting up for chaos once students returned to campuses.

9/23/2020: Your therapy dog might have to miss your dental appointment

NC dental board could put limits on emotional support animals inside dental facilities.

9/22/2020: Coronavirus Today – Sep 22 – Large stadiums and return of fans; Governor would take vaccine; SlowCOVIDNC app launched

Gov. Roy Cooper says if NC metrics remain stable, he might ease restrictions even further Oct. 2.

9/21/2020: Testing for lead in children declines in NC during pandemic

Families are skipping well-child visits to pediatricians, who say that could pose major health risks.

9/18/2020: Why is NC delayed in reporting COVID-19 death data? It’s about death certificates.

North Carolina is one of just three states to still use a paper-based system for its official death documents. Because of it, the state lags in its official COVID-19 deaths reporting.

9/17/2020: As $35M in nursing-home fines sits mostly idle, COVID-ridden NC ranks 3rd among states with unused funds

NC has built up a $35 million fund of fines levied against nursing homes, earmarked to improve quality of life for residents. Why aren’t these caches being used to fight COVID-19?

9/16/2020: Are students with disabilities being left behind? Challenges of virtual learning.

Students in special education programs are struggling to adjust to online learning during the coronavirus pandemic, which has led to setbacks and hospitalizations for some.

9/15/2020: Coronavirus Today – Sep. 15 – Political rallies, masks and respect; Tillis, Cunningham and vaccine; Get your flu shot

North Carolina has seen its COVID-19 positivity rates go down in recent days. Is it a lasting trend, or will events such as political rallies and holidays bump cases back up?

9/14/2020: Clinical trials for coronavirus vaccine progressing in Fayetteville and elsewhere in NC

More than 300 people are participating in Phase 3 of the Moderna vaccine clinical trials in Fayetteville. A local doctor heading those trials says they are going well, but scientists doubt a vaccine will be approved before December, at the earliest.

9/13/2020: What we know about MIS-C, a rare but dangerous illness striking children weeks after they get COVID-19

Several hundred children across the U.S. have ended up in intensive care units after acquiring COVID-19 and developing multisystem inflammatory syndrome.

09/09/2020: Over 120 COVID-19 cases at North Carolina’s only immigration detention facility

One transferred migrant dead, over 120 people have fallen ill amid continued transfers, arrests, and opaque testing practices. A look at Alamance County Detention Center’s emerging pandemic legacy.

09/07/2020: Rural people with disabilities fight to retain independence during pandemic

COVID-19 has pushed independent living centers to adapt to serve their clients with disabilities, who face a wide range of health risks and service disruptions from the coronavirus.

09/04/2020: Should COVID-19 vaccine testing be done on prisoners? Some researchers say we should ask them.

Is it time to reconsider restrictions on using prisoners in medical experiments? Some experts say we should ask incarcerated people themselves.

09/03/2020: Coronavirus Today – Sep. 3 – ‘Get Behind the Mask’ and Labor Day; Vaccine by November?; Nursing homes and child care; ‘Dr. Mandy Cohen Day’

North Carolina launches a public health face mask campaign six months into the coronavirus pandemic.

09/02/2020: Lawmakers back in Raleigh to hash out COVID relief funds

In a short budget session, lawmakers are expected to direct more funding to economic needs generated by the COVID-19 pandemic.

09/01/2020: Coronavirus Today – Sep. 1 – Return to gyms, museums, yoga and dance studios; Outdoor nursing home visits; Cautious optimism about NC trends, metrics

As NC trends and metrics show stability and improvement, Gov. Roy Cooper allows gyms, bowling alleys and fitness centers to open again.

09/01/2020: NC health brain trust keeps focus on ‘seriously ill’ patients, those likely to die within a year

Through most of 2019, high-level North Carolina health professionals were examining the needs of the ‘seriously ill’ population in the state. When COVID-19 arrived in 2020, it was clear much more remained to be done for patients who are within a year of dying.

8/30/2020: I’m a COVID-19 long-hauler and an epidemiologist – here’s how it feels when symptoms last for months

Margot Gage Wivliet was hospitalized with COVID-19 in March. More than four months later, she has yet to recover.

8/29/2020: Florida’s Cautionary Tale: How Gutting and Muzzling Public Health Fueled COVID Fire

As the nation starved the public health system intended to protect communities against disease, staffing and funding fell faster and further in the Sunshine State, leaving it especially unprepared for the worst health crisis in a century.

8/28/2020: COVID-19 vaccine misinformation could threaten success, herd immunity

The race is on to develop a coronavirus vaccine. But what if a lot of people opt out?

8/26/2020: COVID positive inmates housed alongside uninfected in Pitt County

Inmates fear catching the virus amid outbreak but say staff is declining to test other inmates in the dorm.

8/25/2020: Coronavirus Today – Aug. 25 – ‘The three W lady’ and what public means; University clusters and college football; Help to fight eviction

As UNC system campuses report high COVID-19 positivity rates, DHHS secretary renews pitch for three Ws.

8/24/2020: The first COVID surge weakened NC’s cash-strapped rural hospitals. A second wave may devastate them.

Elective surgery cancelations in March and April were a blow that the state’s rural medical centers have yet to recover from. Regaining financial footing could take months, even if a second COVID wave never comes, hospital industry executives and advocates say.

8/21/2020: The key to COVID-19 communication? Keep it simple.

COVID-19 is complicated, and the world’s understanding of the virus has evolved over the last few months. We’ve gathered input from experts on how leaders can communicate clearly and why it’s so important to do so.

8/20/2020: Here’s how camps for children with special needs are adapting for this summer

Social distancing has made it harder for kids with special needs to make friends and engage in hands-on activities at camps this summer. Virtual and overnight camps for these children have allowed them to interact with peers, build self-esteem, and learn new skills.

8/19/2020: Coronavirus Today – Aug. 19 – Lessons from UNC-CH reversal; remote learning and broadband grants; Testing drop-off and free COVID-19 tests

North Carolina’s trends and metrics are showing stabilization as college campuses report COVID-19 clusters.

8/19/2020: Will COVID-19 help move primary care physicians away from the fee-for-service model?

The “medical MacGyvering” that took place early in the pandemic wasn’t limited to emergency physicians jerry-rigging personal protective equipment or ICU docs using FaceTime to connect patients to families. Small primary care practices also pivoted hard, but it’s come at a cost.

8/19/2020: Looking for care after a COVID hospitalization? Here are some suggestions from experts.

It’s good news that a North Carolina COVID-19 patient may be ready to be discharged from hospital. But caregivers are also realizing the change will come with a raft of questions about whether the home and caregiver can support a loved one recovering from the deadly virus.

8/18/2020: Released from a North Carolina prison during the pandemic, Canadian man was detained by ICE. Five months later, he died in their custody.

More than twice as many people have died in ICE custody this year than last year, partly due to the immigration agency’s response to COVID-19.

8/18/2020: UNC’s one-week experiment with COVID-19 and on-campus life

Parties, clusters and too much quick virus spread force UNC-Chapel Hill to reverse course.

8/17/2020: NC outlines plans in wake of 36 COVID-related veterans deaths in state nursing homes

NC Gov. Roy Cooper says he’ll have his people check out the contract that a Georgia health care company has held for 22 years with the state.

8/16/2020: Growing calls for FDA to speed approval of quick, at-home coronavirus tests

The rapid home tests are not as accurate as the common lab tests done now, but can usually detect when an individual has enough of the virus to be contagious.

8/14/2020: Some masks are better than others at stopping virus, Duke study shows

The study found that homemade, two-layer cotton masks work well; bandanas, not so much.

8/13/2020: Coronavirus Today – Aug. 13 – Pandemic snarls seasons: Sports, flu, back-to-school; Unemployment aid push and pull

NC’s trends and metrics are going the right way, DHHS secretary says, but that ‘progress is fragile.’

8/13/2020: The COVID-19 price tags: Here’s how NC DHHS is spending $345 million

And it will cost more before it’s all done, DHHS Secretary Mandy Cohen tells lawmakers at the General Assembly this week.

8/12/2020: Coronavirus Today – Aug. 12 – Revised NC testing totals; LabCorp reporting glitch; More glimmers of hope

NC has to correct COVID-19 testing totals, but mistake does not change key metrics.

8/11/2020: Even as NC’s COVID numbers stabilize, jail outbreaks spike

Cases have risen at nine local jails; at least one outbreak is connected to a transfer from the state prison system.

8/10/2020: Your incarcerated loved one is hospitalized for COVID-19. You might not be notified until it’s too late.

When an incarcerated person is hospitalized for a COVID-19 emergency, prison officials across the country don’t have to notify their emergency contacts. During the pandemic, it means family members might not get a chance to say goodbye until it’s too late.

8/7/2020: Coronavirus Today – Aug. 7 – Mandatory testing for nursing home workers; New tactics against COVID-19; Community Health Workers vendors selected

DHHS secretary orders testing of nursing home staff every two weeks.

8/7/2020: Free phones, masks in parks: Rural providers get creative with mental health outreach post-COVID

The pandemic has isolated rural residents with mental health needs. But these North Carolina providers are finding creative ways to connect.

8/6/2020: Summer camps get creative to carry on in pandemic

Some kids have faced social isolation during the pandemic with schools closing and being unable to see their friends. Some youth camps opened their doors in the summer so kids could engage with peers and learn instead of having their eyes glued to a screen. Despite having to wear a mask at camp, campers were still able to swim and meet new friends this summer.

8/5/2020: Coronavirus Today – Aug. 5 Here come the students; taking a pause on NC reopening; Stability is good, decline even better

North Carolina governor pauses further reopening for at least five weeks.

8/4/2020: With Tropical Storm Isaias, health providers, emergency managers and providers face a ‘test-run’ of pandemic storm prep

This week’s storm will give North Carolina health providers and emergency managers the first taste of how COVID will affect hurricane preparedness.

8/3/2020: Coronavirus Today – Aug. 3 – Awaiting Isaias; Curfews and evacuations; Landfall in southeastern NC?

North Carolina awaits the dawn after its first major storm amid the coronavirus pandemic.

8/2/2020: As long waits for results render COVID tests ‘useless,’ states seek workarounds

As coronavirus cases continue to tick up across the United States, individual states are pivoting to find labs that can provide test results in a more timely way.

8/1/2020: A changed season on the Outer Banks

This year’s summer on the Outer Banks is a little bit different than previous years. The beaches are drawing tourists from all areas with higher rates of COVID-19 infections, so local businesses are having to adjust.

7/31/2020: Coronavirus Today – July 31 – Hurricane Isaias heading north; Shelters as a last resort; UNC schools plan with county health departments

‘A hurricane during a pandemic is double trouble,’ NC governor says.

7/31/2020: Coronavirus deaths bring attention to privatized state veterans homes

As COVID-19 outbreaks moved through North Carolina this year, nursing home residents quickly numbered high among those who became infected. Among that population, 36 North Carolina residents of military service died of the novel coronavirus in state-owned veterans nursing homes managed by a Georgia conglomerate, PruittHealth.

7/31/2020: Cooper, national leaders respond to ravaged veterans nursing homes, look ahead for solutions

Gaps in state federal oversight and accountability for privately run veterans homes are now facing scrutiny at all levels of government.

7/30/2020: Coronavirus Today – July 30 – The SCOOP on coping with pandemic stress; Tropical storm and NC pathway; Return of NC college students

The pandemic is taking a mental health toll with increased reports of anxiety, depression, binge drinking and substance-abuse overdoses.

7/30/2020: Thirty-six veterans die of COVID-19 in NC state veterans nursing homes that a private company has run for 22 years

Since April 21, 36 North Carolina military veterans have died of COVID in state veterans nursing homes managed by the Georgia-based PruittHealth corporation, whose five-year, $207 million contract is up for a second extension in December. In July, state inspectors report, the state veterans home in Salisbury allowed dozens of drive-up visits by relatives, less than three weeks after the center’s 15th resident death from COVID-19.

7/29/2020: Embracing her Latinx community, fighting for equality amid COVID-19

This Duke physician’s quest for global health care access is deep-rooted.

7/28/2020: Coronavirus Today – July 28 – Alcohol sales curfew; NC trends stabilizing; Fighting utility shut-offs and evictions

As NC universities and colleges prepare to bring students back to campus, governor limits late-night alcohol sales.

7/28/2020: Health insurance premium picture for coming year uncertain

COVID-19 continues to rage with no end in sight, even as deadlines for insurers to ask for next year’s premium rates arrive. How do insurance companies know what their rates should be?

7/27/2020: Lifeline or Life Risk: Working in an Amazon Warehouse

While hundreds of thousands of North Carolinians were losing their jobs, Amazon was on a hiring spree. But at what price?

7/24/2020: ICE transfers — and NC jail partnerships — have continued amid the pandemic

Advocates worry it will increase North Carolina immigrants’ risk of contracting COVID-19.

7/23/2020: Coronavirus Today – July 23 – Follow the three Ws, say Mexican and Guatemalan consulate leaders; Plug for Medicaid expansion; ‘Not yet turned a corner’

North Carolina is on steadier ground than many Southern states in its fight against COVID-19, but cases continue to rise especially in Latino communities.

7/23/2020: What could happen if the pandemic and a major hurricane collide?

As the coronavirus continues to cause chaos in North Carolina, forecasters predict an above-normal hurricane season. State officials urge people in at-risk areas to make plans now.

7/22/2020: UNC helps launch COVID-19 mental health app for health workers

The free Health Heroes app assess symptoms of stress and depression and helps connect those on the frontlines of the coronavirus pandemic connect to care.

7/21/2020: Coronavirus Today – July 21 – Calls for strong federal leadership; testing shortage work-arounds; hardy salute to National Guard

As the pandemic rages on, North Carolina governor and top public health official call out the Trump administration.

7/20/2020: White House document shows 18 states in coronavirus “red zone”

North Carolina is one of the states identified by White House advisors for increased scrutiny because of the high rate of coronavirus cases in the state.

7/20/2020: Undocumented, uninsured and worried about ID requirements? You can still get free COVID-19 tests.

Free testing sites seek to calm fears in Latinx community that lack of an ID could expose their immigration status.

7/17/2020: Child care centers show COVID outbreaks in and around Mecklenburg County

North Carolina finally has a fall school plan, just as we see COVID-19 clusters among children.

7/16/2020: Coronavirus Today – July 16: Hospitalization and incidental COVID-19 cases; Latinos complain of being turned away; Federal change-up and NC impact

North Carolina’s COVID-19 trends continue to be of concern, with hospitalizations creeping up, many new positive tests and the rate of positives staying “too high.”

7/16/2020: A Year Without Visits: COVID-19’s Impact on Children with Incarcerated Parents

Correctional facilities throughout the state have shut down in-person visitations to help quell the spread of COVID-19, creating one more roadblock for kids trying to navigate the criminal justice system to stay connected with a parent.

7/15/2020: Pandemic-related job loss nixes health insurance for nearly 200,000

Medicaid advocates say expansion now would help rural and urban economies alike and provide health care to aid public health.

7/14/2020: Coronavirus Today – July 14: “Plan B” for K-12 schools; district choices; simmering COVID-19 trends and metrics

NC governor recommends in-person combined with remote teaching for the coming K-12 school year. Each district would have discretion over the exact mix.

7/13/2020: Research suggests link between PFAS contamination and the coronavirus

Studies say people with high levels of PFAS in their systems could be more susceptible to contracting COVID-19.

7/11/2020: Judge: NC prisons out of compliance with court orders

Prisons not providing court with information and not complying with several parts of order to prevent further COVID-19 spread, judge says.

7/10/2020: Are NC businesses enforcing the Governor’s mask mandate? It depends.

Many patrons, employees and owners question how much of an impact the Governor’s order has had on increasing customer mask use.

7/9/2020: Coronavirus Today – July 9 – Schools decision next week; troubling Charlotte hospital trends; Community Health Workers and college internships

With record-high hospitalizations and continued rise in lab-confirmed cases, the governor says ‘treat this virus like the lethal threat it is.’

7/9/2020: Sanitation workers soldier on during COVID crisis despite risks

Early in the morning, these guys ride around on a truck in your neighborhood collecting every bit of trash you throw out not knowing what they’re touching. A combination of smells wafts through their noses– stinky diapers, spoiled pizza, hazardous chemicals. Sanitation workers across the state voice their concerns and share how their jobs have changed during the pandemic as an essential worker.

7/8/2020: Telehealth offers transgender people a new way to receive hormone therapy, during the pandemic and beyond

The COVID pandemic has paved way for virtual visits to continue for transgender patients, offering easy – and private – access to hormone replacement therapy and other care.

7/7/2020: Coronavirus Today – July 7 – Streamlining COVID testing access; Tough being a contact tracer; NC gets F for inmate care

The COVID pandemic has paved way for virtual visits to continue for transgender patients, offering easy – and private – access to hormone replacement therapy and other care.

7/7/2020: In this coastal county, a large party brings COVID spread and recalcitrance toward tracers

Dare County health director has been cussed at, told she was lying and hung up on.

7/7/2020: North Carolina’s coronavirus surge, explained in three charts

With more numbers than ever, it can be hard to understand the magnitude of the pandemic in North Carolina. We’ve created three charts to help you make sense of coronavirus in the state.

7/6/2020: Waiting for a kidney during a pandemic

The COVID-19 pandemic has had a major impact on both routine kidney care and the number of transplants. At the same time, the estimated 37 million American adults with chronic kidney disease are at greater risk of contracting the virus.

7/3/2020: Among those disrupted by COVID-19: The nation’s newest doctors

New physicians suit up and start on July 1. They’re entering a world with far more challenges than they could have imagined.

7/2/2020: COVID-19 puts pressure on already fractured prison health system

COVID-19 has hit North Carolina’s prisons hard. But the system was already struggling under the weight of staffing issues, budget cuts, management changes and a surge of mental health patients for more than a decade.

7/1/2020: Coronavirus Today – July 1 – Governor seeks more teacher buy-in on school plans

As North Carolina sees troubling increases in COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations, decision on K-12 schools postponed.

6/29/2020: COVID-19 federal aid has kept NC’s rural hospitals afloat, for now.

With fewer resources to begin with, North Carolina’s rural providers struggled financially at the first phases of the pandemic. Federal aid has kept the doors open, but with COVID cases rising in the state, advocates say more support may be needed.

6/26/2020: Coronavirus Today – June 26 – Helping Hispanic communities battle COVID-19; statewide face mask requirement takes effect

State health officials approve $100,000 grants for five organizations to help staunch the spread of COVID-19 among Latino communities.

6/25/2020: Health facility visitation becomes a legislative flashpoint

Even as lawmakers pass bills to require hospitals to allow visitors, they got an earful on how senior living centers would prefer to keep those facilities closed to visitors.

6/25/2020: With a backlog of routine cleaning appointments, should NC dentists be able to oversee more hygienists?

With COVID-19 so prevalent, the N.C. dental board weighs a timeworn question: Will NC allow dentists to oversee more than two hygienists?

6/24/2020: Coronavirus Today – June 24 – Face mask requirements; gyms, playgrounds, museums, bars still closed; struggling child care centers

Face masks will be required as North Carolina remains in the Safer-At-Home Phase 2 for several more weeks.

6/24/2020: The NC Dental Board weighs unusual questions in an unprecedented time

Cleaning teeth with COVID-19 so prevalent brings questions about investigating safety complaints.

6/23/2020: All NC inmates to be tested for COVID-19, hospitalization rate largely unknown

The NC prison system had been reluctant to test prison inmates for COVID-19 before a judge got involved. Meanwhile, prison officials have refused to release the number of inmates who have been hospitalized with the virus.

6/22/2020: Coronavirus Today – June 22 – NCCARE360 expands; COVID clusters in childcare facilities, schools; proposed transit cuts

A 100-county program designed before COVID-19 appeared could be useful to connect North Carolinians in need.

6/22/2020: Are the kids really alright?

There is no playbook for what happens when children are separated from friends and peers for months on end, as they have been during the coronavirus pandemic. How are they really doing?

6/20/2020: Emails reveal chaos as meatpacking companies fought health agencies over COVID-19 outbreaks in their plants

Thousands of pages of documents obtained by ProPublica show how quickly public health agencies were overwhelmed by meatpacking cases. One CEO described social distancing as “a nicety that makes sense only for people with laptops.”

6/19/2020: COVID makes complicated foster care system more so

The state’s foster care system has staggered under the weight of thousands of children needing care as a result of the opioid epidemic. Now COVID has complicated the lives of everyone in the system.

6/19/2020: North Carolina lacks critical racial data for a third of its COVID-19 cases. Here’s why.

Until recently, exactly what data they collected was somewhat ad hoc — a contact tracer might ask for someone’s name and birthday but neglect to ask about gender or race.

6/18/2020: Coronavirus Today – June 18 – Campaigning for the face mask; $3.3 million prison testing plan; Tar River floods

Gov. Roy Cooper hints at a statewide mask mandate, but North Carolinians won’t know for sure until next week.

6/18/2020: Cohen to lawmakers: Prevention best defense against COVID case backslide in N.C.

In an update to the General Assembly, Secretary Mandy Cohen emphasized simple measures to prevent a possible surge of hospitalizations due to COVID-19.

6/18/2020: Amidst COVID-19, some NC hospitals may soon run out of room

Hospitals in Greenville, the Triangle and Charlotte may run out of beds by late summer or early fall, a new analysis shows.

6/17/2020: Pregnant NC prisoners hopes of release fading

The state wants to release pregnant prisoners to protect them from COVID outbreaks. So what’s the hold up?

6/15/2020: Coronavirus Today – June 15 – Mandatory face masks?; a lesson in virus spread; hurricane relief amid pandemic

Gov. Roy Cooper says he will let the state know early next week whether metrics and trends shift enough for further reopening.

6/15/2020: Former Wake County Register of Deeds Laura Riddick went to prison after embezzling nearly a million dollars. Then she contracted COVID.

Riddick describes what it’s like for her, and the women around her, to fall ill from the deadly virus while in prison.

6/13/2020: Rapid changes to health system spurred by COVID might be here to stay

The COVID-19 pandemic has done what no president or social movement or venture capitalist could have dreamed of: It forced sudden major changes to the nation’s health care system.

6/12/2020: Coronavirus Today – June 12 – Troubling trends, pleas to public to help reverse them; Ace Speedway tells fans no races; UNC physicians on reopening, testing

Governor, secretary of health urge North Carolinians to help reverse troubling trends.

6/11/2020: WNC strike team fights back as long-term care residents contract COVID-19

Residents of a Hendersonville assisted living home started testing positive for COVID-19 in early April. A carefully assembled “strike team” gathered diverse forces to keep the disease under some level of control.

6/11/2020: Latino North Carolinians infected with COVID-19 ‘simply by going to work’

Duke professors, physicians and state leaders eye ways to slow the spread of COVID-19 in Hispanic communities, where it’s hit hard.

6/10/2020: Coronavirus Today – June 10 – Heightened worries about eight NC counties

Mandy Cohen rings a warning bell on testing, case and hospitalization increases.

6/10/2020: As COVID-19 threatened western N.C., a new approach to fighting it in long-term care

When COVID-19 hit Henderson County, a newly coordinated “strike team” of medical professionals and others, from CNAs to hospice staff, formed to face the threat to endangered long-term care residents.

6/9/2020: Coronavirus Today – June 9 – Action against Alamance speedway; contact tracing after the races; Governor to get tested

State takes action against Ace Speedway, saying the races and crowds put the public at ‘imminent risk.’

6/9/2020: If the coronavirus rebounds, Cary could be the first to know

Cary, Raleigh and other areas of the Triangle are working with N.C. State on a research project that aims to detect the virus in human feces, potentially alerting health officials to new outbreaks.

6/8/2020: Coronavirus Today – June 8 – Dr. Birx calls NC; follow the three Ws for the school kids; protesters should get tested

As pressure mounts for Gov. Roy Cooper to open bars and gyms amid spiking COVID numbers, the focus shifts to slowing the spread so schools can reopen in August.

6/6/2020: Contact tracers help identify growing Macon County COVID-19 cluster

Two weeks ago, Macon County had a handful of coronavirus cases. On Tuesday, the number of lab-confirmed cases rocketed to 84. Contact tracers are working to figure out exactly where the outbreaks started.

6/5/2020: With more farmers and food handlers testing positive for the coronavirus, consumers wonder if food is safe to eat.

Headlines are filled with farmers and food handlers testing positive for the novel coronavirus, making consumers wonder whether or not it is safe for us to eat that food. We’ll break it down for you.

6/4/2020: Coronavirus Today – June 4 – Racial equity task force; nursing home, prison numbers; Phase 2.5 for gyms, bars?

As George Floyd’s death renews outrage over institutional racism and long-standing inequities, Gov. Roy Cooper creates a new task force.

6/4/2020: With more questions than answers, hydroxychloroquine still under the microscope

Duke University is leading a nationwide study of frontline health care workers to test whether HCQ can prevent COVID-19.

6/3/2020: Teletherapy in the Age of COVID-19

The mental health crisis brought on by the pandemic has helped speed up the adoption of teletherapy.

6/2/2020: Coronavirus Today – June 2 – GOP convention and NC demands; Cooper shares Bible story for Trump; COVID graph day

Gov. Roy Cooper and President Donald Trump have different ideas for staging a GOP National Convention in Charlotte.

6/2/2020: COVID-19 affected NC’s rural economies long before the first confirmed cases arrived there

North Carolina’s coronavirus control measures have strained the state’s already weaker rural economies, data from the first wave of unemployment claims shows.

6/1/2020: Coronavirus Today – June 1 – Remembering George Floyd; focus on communities of color; protests and face coverings

As North Carolinians fight for justice for George Floyd, health officials work to reverse long-standing systemic health inequities.

6/1/2020: This Charlotte physician fought COVID-19. Now, he donates plasma to help others.

As UNC Health, Vidant Health and other NC health care sites engage in convalescent plasma studies, getting and donating the antibody-rich blood component can be a challenge.

5/29/2020: Latinos, the coronavirus and a single ZIP code

The 27344 ZIP code, which includes Siler City and Mountaire Farms, has become a hotspot for the coronavirus in North Carolina. Latinos who live in the ZIP code are suffering greatly, but nonprofit organizations can only do so much.

5/28/2020: Coronavirus Today – May 28 – Bars, senators and Cooper; COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations increase; NC poet laureate joins information campaign

As NC bar owners cry foul, lawmakers look to weaken the governor’s executive order.

5/28/2020: As COVID races through Mountaire Farms poultry plant, workers deemed vital feel dispensable

Mountaire criticized for moving too slowly to protect workers who weren’t aware of coronavirus cases in workplace.

5/27/2020: Pandemic causes immunization rates to dip

Fear of being exposed to the coronavirus is contributing to parents skipping child well visits and their vaccinations.

5/26/2020: Coronavirus Today – May 26 – Cooper, Trump, GOP convention; Alamance speedway defiance; Hang on Mandy, Mandy hang on

Gov. Roy Cooper announces the creation of the North Carolina Pandemic Recovery Office.

5/26/2020: Despite judge’s ruling allowing for services, most NC churches remaining closed

One conservative pastor sues the governor, but other church organizations, leaders say they’ll continue to meet online.

5/22/2020: Coronavirus Today – May 22 – Restaurant effort to boost confidence; craft brewery confusion; NASCAR and Atrium team up

Restaurants are back with a new campaign to boost customer confidence as dining moves back inside.

5/21/2020: Coronavirus Today – May 21 Rare COVID-related child illness; Tyson plant and Forsyth case jump; pause on NC jury trials

North Carolina is moving cautiously into a new reopening phase as COVID-19 cases increase. Forsyth County has seen a rapid increase in cases.

5/21/2020: Churches are an unlikely ally in solving the rural internet access puzzle

With the coronavirus pandemic highlighting the depth of rural broadband needs, churches have set their sights on increasing access in their communities.

5/20/2020: Coronavirus Today – May 20 – Indoor restaurant dining; barbershops salons to open, but no gyms yet; Cooper unlikely to pick pizza

As the number of COVID-19 lab confirmed cases continue to rise, Gov. Roy Cooper modifies his phased reopening plan.

5/20/2020: How addiction recovery specialists adapted during COVID-19 pandemic

While some addiction service providers have been forced to cut programs, others have adjusted to the pandemic changes to assist people using drugs and those in early addiction recovery.

5/19/2020: Coronavirus Today – May 19 Heated Lincoln County debate; nod to older North Carolinians; Avery County gets first COVID case

While some addiction service providers have been forced to cut programs, others have adjusted to the pandemic changes to assist people using drugs and those in early addiction recovery.

5/19/2020: NC DHHS recommends testing all in long-term facilities for COVID-19, but questions remain

NC health officials say all residents of long-term care centers, in dozens of which COVID-19 has run rampant, should be tested for the virus, but left several details vague.

5/18/2020: Coronavirus Today – May 18 – Big no to COVID parties; Waiting for phase two; Day-over-day count concerning

While waiting to see if Gov. Cooper will ease restrictions this weekend, some may be taking risks with their health.

5/18/2020: Shuttered hospital could get new life courtesy of COVID

Rural Sandhills facility repurposed for non-coronavirus patients in the event of a surge.

5/16/2020:Asymptomatic first COVID-19 case in Graham County ‘heartbroken’ by test

The Eastern Band of the Cherokee tribe has been urging that one person from every household on its land get tested.

5/15/2020: Coronavirus Today – May 15 COVID testing guidance; too few Dare County test sites; camp guidance; rough surf warning

Testing, testing, testing. Getting access to the necessary COVID-19 tests has been a problem for Dare County and elsewhere in northeastern NC.

5/15/2020: The Choice: Homeless or Housebound?

Domestic violence shelters operate by different rules during the coronavirus pandemic.

5/14/2020:Coronavirus Today – May 14 – Churches sue state; prison staff testing plan; need a test, find a site

Nearly a week into this phase of the modified stay-at-home order, no spikes or deep drop-off in COVID-19 have appeared.

5/14/2020: COVID breathes life into North Carolina’s rural telehealth, but broadband remains an obstacle

The coronavirus pandemic forced providers to see many of their patients virtually. In rural North Carolina, where the broadband infrastructure is lacking, that transition can be challenging.

5/13/2020: Coronavirus Today – May 13 – Contact tracers in world of spam; antibody tests; virtual tour of Hawaii

As North Carolina increases testing and tracing, contact tracers must overcome hurdles amid spam-call blocking.

5/13/2020: As COVID-19 menaces NC, therapists reach out to people with speech, memory problems

COVID-19 has brought changes in routine for people with dementia and other speech and memory problems. The community of speech therapy is offering new methods of care as the need continues to emerge.

5/12/2020: Coronavirus Today – May 12 – Pandemic politics; NC manufacturers help; mental health awareness

Political divides are emerging again during the pandemic slightly more than a week after Republicans and Democrats reached consensus on a relief package.

5/12/2020: For workers who’ve lost jobs, what are the options for health insurance?

About a million North Carolinians have lost work in the past two months, and for many, lost health insurance too. What can they do?

5/11/2020: Coronavirus Today – May 11 – Recovered from COVID; churches and outside worship; more SNAP

Questions arise about who is recovered from COVID-19, who should get tested and the nuances of governor’s modified order for worship houses.

5/11/2020: NC dentists plan to reopen for routine care amid COVID-19

After providing only emergency care for the past month, NC dentists plan to bring hygienists back to work for more routine oral health care.

5/10/2020: Tryon Medical Partners deploys teams around the country to keep businesses open

A physician from the practice keeps an IKEA ‘go bag’ with N95 masks always at the ready, and she’s ready to hit the road at a moment’s notice.

5/9/2020: COVID pandemic derails graduations for NC’s college grads, but not their dreams

COVID circumstances delay their walk and make their futures uncertain, but this year’s grads are still moving forward with their dreams.

5/8/2020: How do you cope with COVID? NC Health News team shares their strategies

At NC Health News, our workload suddenly exploded. Like others, we’ve had to find ways to cope, even as we’re busier than ever.

5/8/2020: Managing mental health during COVID-19

Healthy coping skills, mental health resources can ease the pain of physical distance during the pandemic.

5/7/2020: Coronavirus Today – May 7 – Case numbers rise as state preps for partial reopening

Social distancing restrictions being eased as COVID-19 lab confirmed cases rise, but the hike doesn’t warrant reversing course, officials say.

5/7/2020: On National Nurses’ Day, these critical health care workers are more in the spotlight

Staffing, salary and working conditions, especially in long-term care, also shine a light on challenges for the nursing profession.

5/7/2020: Coronavirus gains a foothold in rural North Carolina

The state’s first coronavirus outbreaks began in cities, but the virus spread to rural areas. Recent data shows a disproportionate burden of cases per capita there.

5/6/2020: Coronavirus Today – May 6 – Some businesses can reopen, while others wait; masks and summer camps

State health officials are preparing North Carolinians for a partial re-opening this weekend. But they urge Tar Heels to go slow and remember the 3 Ws.

5/6/2020: Families of disabled struggle with hospital visitor restrictions

N.C. advocates say hospitals are shutting out caregivers of disabled, potentially violating of federal law.

5/5/2020: Coronavirus Today – May 5 – Cooper eases restrictions as of Friday, reporting on nursing home, meat processor outbreaks

Gov. Roy Cooper signs an order to slightly ease social distancing restrictions beginning Friday, as he asks people to “wear, wait and wash.”

5/5/2020: Can western NC counties escape the worst of the pandemic?

Remote and sparsely populated, counties in western NC have taken some tough measures to keep their coronavirus numbers low.

5/4/2020: Nursing-home industry practices, stories revealed with NC’s COVID-19 facilities list

Autumn Care of Cornelius found that 53 of its residents had COVID-19 infections; eventually 10 of them died. Official word from the state of North Carolina means that families, friends and journalists can learn much more about the long-term care homes’ experience in the pandemic.

5/2/2020: Historic Outbreak: Spanish Flu on NC Coast

A century ago, North Carolina was ravaged by a different epidemic than the one we are experiencing today. Again, it was a disease that was without treatment, spread easily and killed about 14,000 people in the state.

5/1/2020: Coronavirus Today – May 1 – Search for COVID by zip code, hurricane season coming, cheesy science fun

As if preparing for the virus isn’t enough, emergency management officials reminded North Carolinians today that it’s time to prepare for possible hurricane activity this summer.

5/1/2020: Smithfield’s largest slaughterhouse struggling to contain virus

No one will say how many workers at Smithfield’s Tar Heel plant have the coronavirus, but the plant has reduced employees’ hours in what they say is an effort to better protect them.

5/1/2020: Eastern North Carolina hospitals cope with the financial realities of coronavirus

The economic pressure of coronavirus has strained one hospital system in eastern North Carolina, while another hospital in that part of the state recently emerged from bankruptcy.

4/30/2020: Coronavirus Today – April 30 – Mixed picture on NC metrics, Gaston confusion, legislative relief

Even as the state considers reopening, today saw an uptick in cases and more people with COVID symptoms are showing up in emergency departments.

4/30/2020: Wonder what prison is like during COVID-19? These prisoners take us inside.

One woman was released early, but could not get tested in prison. Now she’s so sick with the virus that she’s been hospitalized.

4/29/2020: Coronavirus Today – April 29 – NCGA spending plans, childcare boost and updated models

NCDHHS Sec. Mandy Cohen said she would like the NCGA proposals for coronavirus spending to include more funding for food, shelter and other safety items recommended in the governor’s spending proposal.

4/29/2020: Lawmakers return to Raleigh to address health care, other needs generated by COVID-19 pandemic

Legislature returns to tackle funding and policy issues brought about by the pandemic.

4/28/2020: Coronavirus Today – April 28 – Lawmakers are back in town, midwives get some latitude, aid to community colleges

Lawmakers convened, while observing social distancing practices, for the new legislative session Tuesday at the General Assembly.

4/28/2020: Unsafe conditions for children in wake of COVID-19

Child abuse and neglect are expected to rise in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, with children unable to escape to the safety of schools and struggling families experience unprecedented levels of stress.

4/27/2020: Coronavirus Today – April 27 -Contact tracers needed, Atrium Health clinical trial, names of nursing homes with outbreaks released

NCDHHS announced a contact tracing task collaborative to support local health departments through the pandemic. Meanwhile, the state released the names of nursing homes with coronavirus outbreak.

4/27/2020: NC health officials want testing of all residents, staff of nursing homes with COVID-19

If some nursing home residents or staff have COVID-19, but don’t show it, they can still transmit the virus to others in their facility. That’s one reason North Carolina health officials are encouraging facilities to have all residents and staff tested when COVID-19 appears.

4/26/2020: ‘Our lives on the line’: Service industry workers contend with coronavirus

From layoffs to working in jobs where they can’t self-isolate, the coronavirus pandemic poses unique challenges for many workers in the service industry.

4/25/2020: Poultry companies selling chicken cheap out of the back of trucks

Companies say the sales are a way to be good corporate citizens during the pandemic, but there are also other forces at play.

4/24/2020: Coronavirus Today – April 24 – schools remain closed, sleep apnea machines, Cooper lays out COVID-19 spending plan

Schools will remain closed through the rest of the academic year, Gov. Cooper said on Friday, but remote learning will continue.

4/24/2020: House lawmakers move forward COVID-19 response bills

The one bill addresses policy issues needed to facilitate health care moving forward during the state of emergency, the other appropriates close to a half billion dollars in assistance.

4/24/2020: Two more processing plants identified as having coronavirus outbreaks

The state says 190 workers at seven meat and poultry processing plants have tested positive for COVID-19. That’s up from 118 on Tuesday.

4/23/2020: Staying at home in May, too

Gov. Roy Cooper outlines plan for easing social-distancing, but says North Carolina isn’t ready yet.

4/23/2020: Coronavirus Today – April 23 – Stay-at-home order extended, easing malpractice risk, Novant resumes elective surgeries

Gov. Roy Cooper extended the stay-at-home order through May 8.

4/23/2020: Emergency Medicaid proposal could provide coverage for many newly unemployed. But many will still be left behind.

Medicaid, which supports millions of low income North Carolinians has seen a lot of changes in recent months, and there are liable to be more coming.

4/22/2020: Coronavirus Today – April 22 – Prisoner death, textile collaboration churns out masks, behavioral health support

As the North Carolina prison system reports its first COVID-19 death, officials said they will test all correctional officers in the state for the virus.

4/22/2020: Coronavirus invading N.C. meat processing plants

Five processing plants, including the mammoth Smithfield Foods pork processing plant in Tar Heel, are experiencing outbreaks of the coronavirus, state health officials say.

4/21/2020: Border states, social distancing and ‘one end of the pool for kids to pee in’

Duke researchers and professors weigh in on social distancing to reduce the rate of COVID-19 infections, testing and how to “reopen” society in coming weeks.

4/21/2020: Coronavirus Today – April 21 – New pandemic plans soon, salute a lab worker, nursing home, prison outbreaks

With a little more than a week left for stay-at-home order, plans are being finalized for what’s next.

4/21/2020: Spas, salons seek a way back from COVID closures

After more than a month without customers or income because of social distancing restrictions, personal services businesses are looking for ways to get back to work. But it may not be that simple.

4/20/2020: Coronavirus Today – April 20 – COVID deaths surpass flu, Neuse prison outbreak, Smithfield and food supply

N.C. coronavirus deaths in one month now exceed the entire season of flu fatalities, said DHHS Sec. Mandy Cohen.

4/20/2020:Short staffing an issue at NC nursing homes marked by COVID-19 outbreaks

Federal records for the 19 NC nursing homes identified as having COVID-19 outbreaks show three-quarters have below average marks for staffing. If there’s a relationship there, it could lead to change.

4/18/2020: Pandemic ripple effect potentially devastating for Western NC farmers

Western North Carolina farmers are bracing for a potentially difficult season amidst the coronavirus outbreak.

4/17/2020: Coronavirus Today – April 17 – Outbreak in Goldsboro prison, upping testing capacity, Fort Bragg deaths

Gov. Roy Cooper announced today that three universities have partnered with the state on an effort to step up coronavirus testing capacity. Meanwhile, the state prison in Goldsboro reports a large outbreak, with cases surpassing 250 as of Friday.

4/16/2020: Coronavirus Today – April 16 – Virtual health visits, a ‘reverse parade’, meat and toilet paper fly off the shelves

NCDHHS aired a three-minute video to help people understand how they can access care while staying home. Meanwhile, NCDHHS Sec. Mandy Cohen advocated for using emergency funding to help Medicaid providers.

4/16/2020: General Assembly leaders supported a study on COVID with $100,000. What will it tell us going forward?

A Wake Forest Baptist study aims to track who’s infected or not, but is only part of the broader picture as North Carolina takes next steps.

4/15/2020: Coronavirus Today – April 15 – Research, tests and the need for gradual changes

Senate leader Phil Berger announced a research initiative to take look back at who may have had COVID-19, while Gov. Roy Cooper and Sec. Mandy Cohen worry the state lacks enough to do adequate disease tracking.

4/15/2020: During the coronavirus pandemic, recovery support moves online

There are several free resources during the COVID-19 pandemic for people who are used to attending regular meetings to support their mental health or substance use recovery.

4/14/2020: Coronavirus Today – April 14 – Medicaid expansion, Raleigh protest, rural hospitals ask for help

In a sign that political discourse around health care access is once again heating up, NCDHHS Sec. Mandy Cohen called for Medicaid expansion at a press conference on COVID-19.

4/14/2020: NC prisons begin early release for some inmates

Fewer inmates will be sleeping in prison beds as the Department of Public Safety begins early release for certain eligible inmates to reduce the prison population and prevent the spread of COVID-19.

4/14/2020: Four things North Carolina’s coronavirus data tells us — and what it doesn’t.

The coronavirus outbreak has brought on an onslaught of data, but what do these numbers actually mean?

4/13/2020: Coronavirus Today – April 13 – Pressure mounts to ease restrictions, pandemic-related prison releases, volunteer health corps growing

Officials said Monday that the strict social distancing measures in North Carolina are slowing the spread of the virus, even as they face pressure to reopen the state economy.

4/13/2020: COVID-19 in western NC: Just the tip of the iceberg

The number of COVID-19 cases in WNC is relatively low compared to the more populous areas in the state. But people on the front lines see a worrying trend that indicates it’s only a matter of time.

4/12/2020: A ‘new norm’ after the coronavirus pandemic

The novel coronavirus has brought death and devastation, but professionals from different walks of life say it could also bring positive changes once it finally subsides.

4/11/2020: At this COVID-19 testing center, you’re more than a lab number

UNC Health’s drive-through testing site doesn’t just stop with the tests.

4/10/2020: Coronavirus Today – April 10 – ‘Moving protests’, mental health care for frontline workers, virtual egg hunts

As North Carolina heads into Easter weekend in isolation, some organizations have put up virtual egg hunts. Meanwhile, The State Employees Credit Union has contributed $10 million for coronavirus relief.

4/10/2020: Can hydroxychloroquine protect frontline workers from COVID-19?

Duke is leading a nationwide study to find out.

4/10/2020: Troubling inspections at NC long-term care facilities with major outbreaks

Four long-term care facilities with sizable outbreaks have had issues in the past, according to recent state inspections.

4/10/2020: Legislators race to get COVID information as they start drafting bills

Advocates for child care and aging issues, along with EMS workers, delivered dense presentations for lawmakers to sort through as they rush to create legislation for COVID pandemic relief.

4/9/2020: Coronavirus Today – April 9 – Grocery store executive order, lawmakers start to write relief bills, speeding up unemployment relief 

Gov. Cooper’s latest executive order attempts to help bring relief to the hundreds of thousands of claims for unemployment benefits that have come in during March and April.

4/9/2020: NC hospice providers face new obstacles operating under shadow of COVID-19

Hospice organizations typically work quietly toward providing some level of peace for people near death and their caregivers. But with North Carolina’s health-care system ensnared by COVID-19, hospice care is encountering myriad obstacles to its compassionate mission.

4/8/2020:Coronavirus Today – April 8 – Nursing home outbreak, food banks need help and prisoner lawsuit

An outbreak in PruittHealth – Carolina Point rehabilitation center in Chapel Hill has spread rapidly from last Thursday, when Orange County Public Health officials first publicly reported that two people, a resident and an employee, had come down with the virus. Now 60 are positive.

4/8/2020: Yes, COVID-19 Does Discriminate

State and local data show that African Americans across the state are bearing a disproportionate impact of the coronavirus.

4/7/2020: Coronavirus Today – April 7 – Grocery store crowd control, childcare funds for health workers, old hospital to be repurposed

As North Carolina’s coronavirus case count increases, Gov. Cooper said he will place additional crowd-control restrictions on grocery stores and other retailers.

4/7/2020: Will North Carolinians still be staying at home in May, too?

NC scientists develop a COVID-19 model showing how social distancing could keep the health system from being overwhelmed by Memorial Day.

4/6/2020: Coronavirus Today – April 6 – Modeling the spread, a holiday without large gatherings, National Guard to deploy

As coronavirus cases near 3,000, Sec. Mandy Cohen urged people to avoid large holiday gatherings. Meanwhile, experts study how caseloads will change with and without social distancing.

4/6/2020: Fear on the front: Health workers adapt and brace for surge

Health care workers on the “front lines” of caring for COVID-19 patients have had their lives upended in an extraordinary way.

4/6/2020: Cancer care in the age of COVID-19

Medical facilities are struggling to balance patient care while limiting the risk of exposure, especially for their most vulnerable patients.

4/5/2020: Could shuttered rural hospitals reopen to treat pandemic?

Reopening closed rural hospitals could be faster and more efficient than building temporary hospitals, says a rural healthcare advocate. But the cancellation of normal hospital services is straining the financial resources of rural facilities even more.

4/4/2020: North Carolina liquor sales booming

Booze has been disappearing from shelves at ABC stores across the state. One type — Everclear — can do more than just relieve social isolation. Its alcohol content is high enough to make homemade hand sanitizer.

4/3/2020: Coronavirus Today – April 3 – Cooper urges people to stay home, Atrium and Novant ask for a field hospital

NC officials have said they are fighting the coronavirus pandemic on many fronts and have implored the public to do their part and stay home.

4/3/2020: N.C. domestic violence shelters awaiting a surge

Many shelters report little increase in domestic violence calls but say that is about to change as isolation caused by the coronavirus leads to abuse.

4/3/2020: Lawmakers receive sobering coronavirus updates

While lawmakers are still gathering information, they have been focused on helping regions and health systems address the coronavirus crisis.

4/2/2020: Coronavirus Today – April 2 – Cases in NC prisons, unemployment system strain, state requests FEMA help

The coronavirus outbreak has resulted in more than 350,000 unemployment claims to date, officials said on Thursday. Meanwhile, the state’s prison system reported COVID-19 cases.

4/2/2020: Medical providers in Charlotte asked for personal protective equipment. The community is giving it to them.

It started with bins of old personal protective equipment on the front lawns of several doctors and mushroomed from there.

4/2/2020: More than 5,000 surgery centers can now serve as makeshift hospitals during COVID-19 crisis

A Trump administration waiver now allows outpatient surgery centers to serve as temporary hospitals during the coronavirus crisis.

4/1/2020: Coronavirus Today – April 1 – Managing limited PPE supplies, tracking the spread, face masks for healthy people

State officials said that they are working on shoring up North Carolina’s supply of protective equipment. Meanwhile, the health department is working to create more accurate predictions of how the virus will affect the state.

4/1/2020: COVID-19 accentuates barriers for the deaf and hard of hearing

In the midst of a fast-moving outbreak, officials use technology to get health information to the deaf and those with hearing loss, but communication gaps remain.

3/31/2020: Coronavirus Today – March 31 – Utility shut-off bans, prison update, Fayetteville curfew

As the number of hospitalized COVID-19 patients begins to rise, Gov. Roy Cooper asks for more help finding places to create alternate hospitals to handle the surge.

3/31/2020: PPE 101: How does personal protective equipment work?

There’s a national shortage of personal protective equipment (PPE) for medical personnel on the frontlines of the COVID-19 pandemic. And with that, a lot of questions about how PPE works and how people can help. Today, we’ll delve into the N95 mask.

3/31/2020:NC food banks spring into action amid coronavirus crisis

Food banks in NC have responded to the outbreak by overhauling their food distribution to minimize social contact and focusing efforts on at-risk clients.

3/30/2020:Coronavirus Today – March 30 – Northampton County nursing home cases, 3-D mask printouts, the ocean on livestream

With more than 1,300 coronavirus cases in North Carolina and 6 deaths, officials said residents should expect more infections and urged people to stay home and stop the spread.

3/30/2020:For NC’s homeless, coronavirus is one threat of many

Policies that promote social distancing have already created hurdles for the state’s homeless population, many of whom are at high risk for coronavirus because of underlying medical conditions.

3/29/2020:Have an urgent dental need during the COVID-19 pandemic? Here’s a way to find help.

NC Oral Health Collaborative updates a map daily for dentists providing urgent care.

3/28/2020:NC governor to sheriffs: No extra state COVID-19 resources available for jail inmates

In a conference call with Gov. Roy Cooper, NC sheriffs asked about medical assistance for possible jail inmates with COVID-19. Cooper couldn’t provide them with much.

3/27/2020: Coronavirus Today – March 27 – Cooper signs statewide stay-at-home order

Gov. Cooper announced a statewide stay-at-home order to stop the spread of coronavirus in the state. The 30-day order goes into effect March 30.

3/27/2020: State lawmakers start moving on coronavirus relief

A bipartisan committee that’s been newly formed to address coronavirus needs heard from providers about their cash flow and equipment needs.

3/27/2020: Child care centers struggle with conflicting advice during COVID-19 outbreak

Several groups call on Gov. Roy Cooper to shut down child care centers, find emergency money to provide care for health care workers.

3/26/2020: Coronavirus Today – March 26 – technical problems, federal disaster relief, county stay-at-home orders

As more communities issue stay-at-home orders, the state of North Carolina has been granted a federal disaster declaration that means additional assistance.

3/26/2020: Mental health providers need flexibility during COVID-19, the state’s making it happen

During this unusually stressful time, mental health providers need to support their patients in nontraditional ways and get paid for it. State health officials are responding with emergency policies and funds.

3/26/2020: Will North Carolina have enough hospital beds to handle the surge of coronavirus patients? The answer remains unclear.

Health care officials, hospital leaders, academics and others are all trying to determine how much “surge capacity” the state needs and where it should go. But there are almost endless variables to consider.

3/25/2020: Coronavirus Today – March 25 – NC reports first deaths, stay home orders

As North Carolina reports its first coronavirus deaths, communities have set their own shelter in place orders. Meanwhile, state officials hinted that stricter social isolation measures may be on the horizon.

3/25/2020: N.C. Board of Pharmacy enacts emergency rules to stop hoarding of unproven COVID-19 drugs

The board took the action after reporting that health care providers were writing hydroxychloroquine prescriptions for themselves and family members. The drug is a potential life-saver for people suffering from lupus, but it has been snapped up after being mentioned by President Trump.

3/25/2020: COVID-19: What happens when schools close statewide?

Chances that schools will reopen before the end of the school year are fading. What does that mean for learning, nutrition and child care?

3/24/2020: Coronavirus Today – March 24 – Mecklenburg shelter in place order, personal protective equipment and “a sign from God”

Dissatisfied that voluntary measures were enough, Mecklenburg County orders residents to stay home, and asks the Charlotte-Mecklenburg police to enforce as necessary.

3/24/2020: Public health workers are on the front lines of the fight against coronavirus. But they’ve bled resources for years.

Lawmakers often express respect for public health agencies, but the funding hasn’t matched the rhetoric.

3/23/2020:Coronavirus today – March 23 – Cooper extends school closings, orders gyms, salons, barber shops, theaters to close

As COVID-19 cases mount throughout the state, Gov. Cooper orders bars, salons, gyms and barber shops to close.

3/23/2020: Drive-thru testing sites pop up across NC, but supply shortages cause some of them to close

Several health systems across the state have either set up or are in the process of setting up drive-thru testing clinics for the novel coronavirus, but some of them closed for lack of supplies.

3/23/2020: North Carolina hospitals asking for masks, gloves for COVID-19 response

Hospital systems in the Triangle and beyond are asking for donations of gloves, masks and disinfectant to prepare for the coming surge of coronavirus cases.

3/22/2020: Millions of older Americans live in counties with no ICU beds as pandemic intensifies

N.C. DHHS Secretary Mandy Cohen said the state was talking daily with hospitals about how to increase capacity of ICU beds for the seriously ill coronavirus patients they expect to arrive.

3/22/2020: Harnett County coronavirus patient now hospitalized, unproven drugs may be part of treatment

Jeff Hensley, 57, started feeling ill on March 4, now his wife says he’s being treated with hydroxychloroquine, an old drug that researchers hope will be a “hail Mary” treatment for coronavirus infection.

03/21/2020: NC faith leaders forge creative paths as COVID-19 closes traditional services

North Carolina’s centers of faith face unprecedented challenges from the COVID-19 virus. Churches, mosques and synagogues built on strong senses of community must find new ways to worship now that circumstances have forbidden congregating.

3/20/2020: Coronavirus Today – Friday, March 20 – Call for medical professionals, testing ramps up, closures and postponements

North Carolina completes the first full week of working from home and kids being home from school, all while the number of coronavirus cases starts to climb.

3/20/2020: Dentists and hygienists pressure state boards to close dental offices

As NC gets its first COVID-19 case believed to be spread through community contact, oral health care workers seek a statewide edict.

3/20/2020: Mobile health clinics and outreach workers adjust to coronavirus

The COVID-19 outbreak has prompted some of NC’s outreach workers and clinicians at mobile clinics to cancel or adjust the services they offer.

3/19/2020: NC’s largest counties contemplating shelter-in-place orders

A Wake County official says a shelter order would be “one of the last options” used to contain a community spread of coronavirus.

3/19/ 2020: Coronavirus today – March 19 – first community spread, virus strains unemployment infrastructure, COVID-19 freeway signs

 As North Carolina reports its first case of community spread, North Carolina prepares for caseload surge.

3/19/2020: Children get free lunches while school is out

School systems across the state began offering free, curbside lunch service for all children up to age 18 to help keep them healthy during the pandemic.

3/19/2020: COVID-19 prompts a shift to telehealth

With private health insurers, along with Medicare, Medicaid removing barriers to pay, more practitioners will treat remotely.

3/18/2020: Coronavirus Today – March 18 – New risk group, scam warnings, telehealth expansion

As North Carolinians get used to social distancing, state officials warn of COVID-19 scams and ask the public to curtail panic buying of groceries and other essentials.

 

3/18/2020: Wife of Harnett County man with coronavirus says testing should have been done sooner

Toni Hensley said she is frustrated that it took almost a week before her husband could get tested for the virus, but she praised health officials and urged people to heed their warnings.

3/17/2020: Coronavirus Today – Tuesday, March 17 – Restaurants and bars closed

As the number of COVID-19 cases in the state climbs to 40, Cooper bans eating at restaurants and bars. Meanwhile, several hospitals across the state have been canceling non-essential surgeries and programs to feed children while they’re out of school begin.

3/17/2020: COVID-19 gets real in Charlotte

With reports of the first cases of the novel coronavirus in the Charlotte Mecklenburg area, life in and around the Queen City looks very different from just a week ago.

3/16/2020: Coronavirus Today – Monday, March 16

This last weekend saw changes in North Carolina’s public life, but for many, changes in the state became real when their kids remained home from school.

3/16/2020: Need food during your coronavirus quarantine? NC farmers want to provide it.

With new restrictions on large gatherings and people sequestering themselves at home to avoid coronavirus infection, public life in North Carolina is starting to look very different. But farmers markers are adjusting in order to stay alive.

3/16/2020: Military leaders at Fort Bragg prepare for coronavirus, restrict travel

Through May, all U.S. soldiers can only take leave locally to prevent them from spreading the coronavirus.

3/15/ 2020: Coronavirus leads to 30-day delay for many NC court hearings

In an attempt to balance the need to protect the public from potential exposure to COVID-19 and due process and constitutional rights, Beasley has directed the courts across the state to postpone most of the thousands of cases in the pipeline for 30 days.

3/14/2020: Coronavirus Today – Saturday, March 14 – Cooper closes schools for two weeks

Gov. Cooper shut down schools for two weeks and has banned mass gatherings of 100 people or more in an attempt to stop COVID-19 transmission in North Carolina.

3/14/2020: As guidance on COVID-19 shifts, NC nursing homes and assisted living centers fight for residents’ safety

Nursing homes and assisted living facilities across the state are taking precautions to protect their residents.

3/13/2020: Coronavirus Today – Friday, March 13

President Trump announced a national state of emergency, and schools in North Carolina began closing, even as NCDHHS Sec. Mandy Cohen advised against preemptive closings.

3/13/2020: NC’s mad dash to stop coronavirus leads to tournament, concert cancellations

Shortage of COVID-19 testing supplies troubling NC leaders, so Gov. Roy Cooper is calling for cancellations of any gatherings of more than 100 people.

3/13/2020: For migrant workers in NC, coronavirus may be hard to avoid

Agencies that care for migrant farmworkers have gotten together this week to discuss outreach efforts to farms as growing season picks up.

3/12/2020: Coronavirus Today – March 12

Read the latest updates on coronavirus in North Carolina.

3/12/2020: What’s it like to get coronavirus? It depends on who you are

From mild flu-like symptoms to more respiratory distress, coronavirus infections vary in how they present depending on age and other factors, experts say.

3/10/2020: After more COVID-19 cases reported, NC declares state of emergency

Gov. Roy Cooper declares a state of emergency to provide more flexibility for responding to the novel coronavirus. Health officials encourage anyone 65 and older to avoid large crowds, but have stopped short of mass cancelling of events.

3/9/2020: NC health centers ramp up COVID-19 outreach to vulnerable patients

North Carolina’s health centers care for many vulnerable patients, including the uninsured. Liora Engel-Smith talked to several providers who said they are using everything from television ads to social media to educate their patients on coronavirus.

3/5/2020: Wake County coronavirus case provokes schools, families to take precautions 

Decisions for school closures are made at the local level and certain districts have already sent out notices to families in case of wider outbreaks. Sarah Ovaska also writes that lack of paid sick leave, especially for “gig” workers, could add to struggles for families.

Gov. Roy Cooper addressed reporters at the Emergency Response Center in Raleigh on North Carolina’s first case of COVID-19, a person who had traveled to the state from Washington State, which currently has an outbreak. With Cooper are (L to R): Dept. of Public Safety Sec. Eric Hooks, Director of Emergency Management Mike Sprayberry, American Sign Language interpreter Lee Williamson, HHS Sec. Mandy Cohen and State Health Director Elizabeth Tilson. Screenshot of press conference courtesy: UNC TV

3/5/2020: Now that coronavirus is in NC, don’t panic, health officials say

In an update to the breaking news story about NC’s first coronavirus case, Anne Blythe and Sarah Ovaska review the circumstances around the first patient and best practices during these uncertain days.

3/4/2020: How do hospitals prepare for an outbreak? The first place to look is their warehouse

If coronavirus does spread, hospitals and other healthcare facilities across the state may need support. The state is prepared with warehouses full of supplies and resources to deploy mobile hospital wards in just about any parking lot or building across North Carolina. Liora Engel-Smith and Rose Hoban took a trip out to see one of those warehouses, operated by WakeMed’s  CapRAC. This story also includes a video tour of the facility.

3/3/2020: Coronavirus confirmed in North Carolina

Governor Cooper and DHHS Secretary Mandy Cohen confirmed the first case of COVID-19 in Wake County. Anne Blythe and Rose Hoban fleshed out the details and recapped the past months of preparation in this breaking news story.

3/2/2020: Hospitals in NC have been under pressure. Would they be able to manage a surge of coronavirus patients? 

Rose Hoban and Liora Engel-Smith looked at capacity, resources and staffing issues in rural and urban hospitals in North Carolina. While the hospitals they spoke with seem optimistic and prepared, national rural health experts expressed concern.

2/28/2020: Is NC ready for Coronavirus? What health officials have learned from past outbreaks

Rose Hoban dug into her deep contacts with state officials past and present to discuss lessons learned from past experiences with SARS and anthrax, and how this has informed their efforts to prepare North Carolina for outbreaks.

2/27/2020: Flu cases starting to subside in N.C., country, but kids still at risk

When coronavirus was just starting to come to the United States, Sarah Ovaska still kept her eye on the flu, which the CDC estimates has killed at least 18,000 Americans thus far this season. This year’s flu especially threatens children, and it’s still not too late for a flu shot.

2/14/2020: Coronavirus risk remains low in NC, but health officials plan for it just in case

Anne Blythe started our coverage with an overview of state and national preparations for coronavirus on Valentine’s Day.