North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services

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Every Friday,  BPR's Helen Chickering talks with NC Health News founding editor Rose Hoban.  This week they discuss the pause on the governor’s school opening plan, the politics of masks and the parallels between the coronavirus and HIV/Aids pandemics.

Every Friday,  BPR's Helen Chickering talks with NC Health News founding editor Rose Hoban.  Among the topics of discussion this week:  Governor Roy Cooper's Phase-2 pause and mask mandate, the latest from the General Assembly -  including a bill addressing hospital patient visitation during the pandemic and a Medicaid package, plus a look at challenges dentists are facing as they work to re-open

Every Friday,  BPR's Helen Chickering reviews the week’s coronavirus news with NC Health News founding editor Rose Hoban.  This week they discuss the latest COVID-19 metrics, the “have and have-not” impact on  hospital reporting,  possible mask mandate, missing racial data and the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on foster care

Every Friday,  BPR's Helen Chickering talks with NC Health News Founding Editor Rose Hoban.  This week they discuss the latest COVID-19 metrics amid a swell of new cases and hospitalizations, factors around the disproportionate number of cases among Latino communities and the strike team tactic created by a WNC assisted living facility as it tackled an outbreak among residents and staff.

Every Friday,  BPR's Helen Chickering talks with NC Health News Founding Editor Rose Hoban.  This week they discuss  the latest COVID-19 metrics, how coronavirus is changing patient care in hospitals, the potential impact of protests on the coronavirus curve,  the disproportionate number of COVID-19 cases among communities of color and a new task force formed to address many of the inequities that contribute to those statistics.     

BPR News

Every Friday,  BPR's Helen Chickering talks with NC Health News founding editor Rose Hoban about the week’s coronavirus headlines and emerging issues linked to the pandemic.  This week they discuss the increase in cases and hospitalizations during the first week of North Carolina’s  Phase-2 reopening,  the push by state lawmakers to reopen bars and the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on state immunization rates.

Every Friday,  BPR's Helen Chickering talks with NC Health News founding editor Rose Hoban about the week’s coronavirus headlines and emerging issues linked to the pandemic.  This week they discuss the metrics amid the start of North Carolina’s  Phase-2 reopening and the many roles churches are playing in the coronavirus pandemic.

BPR News

Every Friday,  BPR's Helen Chickering talks with NC Health News Founding Editor Rose Hoban.  This week they discuss  the latest COVID-19 metrics, how the public is responding to the modified stay-home order as Phase-2 approaches along with the recent surge in telemedicine and the challenges for rural communities.

(5/13 12 p.m.)

Buncombe County health officials are reporting the first confirmed COVID-19 cases in  long-term care facilities in the county. 

Johns Hopkins University

Every Friday,  BPR's Helen Chickering talks with NC Health News Founding Editor Rose Hoban. This week they discuss what health officials are monitoring as the first wave of  stay-home restrictions are lifted, the complicated challenge of figuring out if somebody has recovered from COVID-19 and her thoughts about Nurse’s week amid coronavirus. 

UNC School of Public Health

BPR's Helen Chickering talks with NC Health News Founding Editor Rose Hoban about the metrics state health officials are monitoring, the discussions by state lawmakers working on a COVID-19 relief bill and (below) the NC connection to the newly approved COVID-19 drug therapy.

healthaffairs.org

(4/27) Information on congregate living facilities with outbreaks (two or more cases) has been added to the NCDHHS COVID-19 dashboard.  You can find the list here.

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(4/24) The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services is reporting nearly 12-hundred confirmed COVID-19 cases and  101 deaths at nursing homes across the state.  In Henderson County, 125 of the 158 COVID-19 cases and all 13 deaths  are linked to long term care facilities.   An  analysis of federal data  by North Carolina Health News  found histories of short staffing at more than three-quarters of  19 nursing homes identified in public records and/or media accounts as having COVID-19 outbreaks.   Founding editor Rose Hoban spoke with BPR's Helen Chickering about their findings. 

NCDPS

During Tuesday’s briefing, Governor Roy Cooper announced an Executive Order that will provide relief to furloughed workers who are unemployed and addressed the need to make more funding available for small business owners through the Golden LEAF Foundation's Rapid Recovery Program.  The governor also said officials are getting ready to announce details about what will happen when the state stay-home and school closure orders expire.

The group Reopen NC is planning a second protest in Raleigh Tuesday morning urging Governor Cooper to lift stay-at-home restrictions no later than May 1. The protest comes amid mounting pressure from some lawmakers and others to reopen the economy even as the number of new coronavirus infections continues to grow by the day. 

The group Reopen NC is planning a second protest in Raleigh Tuesday morning urging Governor Cooper to lift stay-at-home restrictions no later than May 1. The protest comes amid mounting pressure from some lawmakers and others to reopen the economy even as the number of new coronavirus infections continues to grow by the day. 

NCDPS

At Friday’s news briefing, Governor Roy Cooper announced that the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services (NCDHHS) is working with academic partners across the state to understand how widespread cases of COVID-19 with mild or no symptoms are in the state and to monitor prevalence of the disease over time.

Politics mixed with the science of tracking the novel coronavirus’ spread this week when Senate leader Phil Berger (R-Rockingham) participated in the rollout of a research study to track people who may have already had COVID-19 without knowing it.  North Carolina Health News founding editor Rose Hoban has been covering the story.  She spoke with BPR's Helen Chickering  about the study and the governor's path to gradual re-opening. 

NCDPS

FIND THE LATEST COVID-19 CASE COUNT IN NORTH CAROLINA HERE.  FOR ANSWERS TO FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS ABOUT THE CORONAVIRUS CLICK HERE.

CDC

(4/13 10 p.m.) The number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in Henderson County is approaching 100, up from 71 over Easter weekend.  Six people have died.    (Find the latest NC COVID-19 info here )     According to the Henderson County Health Department  82 of the confirmed cases and all six deaths are linked to three residential care facilities in the county. 

April 1 brings another COVID-19 concern – rent is due.  With restrictions shuttering businesses and putting thousands out of work across Western North Carolina, non-profit organizations that provide housing  and other support services are seeing an increase in calls from residents concerned about rent and mortgage payments.

It’s important to remember facts not fear when it comes to finding out more about the coronavirus and how to filter that information.  Need an answer now?  Dial 2-1-1 or 888-892-1162.  Sign up for updates by texting COVIDNC to 898211

For mental health resources in Western North Carolina the public is encouraged to call the  Vaya Health 24/7 Access to Care Line 800-849-6127 

Find  COVID-19 resources and the latest case count  in North Carolina here and testing information here.

(4/9 4:30 p.m.)  The number of customers permitted in retail and grocery stores will be limited to ensure social distancing starting Monday at 5 p.m. under a new executive order issued by North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper.  

Governor Cooper and NC Health Officials hold a news conference about the latest coronavirus positive test result in NC.  Watch it here: 

CDC

3/3/2020 -   North Carolina has reported its first case of COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus.  State health officials say the test, conducted by North Carolina State Laboratory of Public Health, is presumptively positive and will be confirmed by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) lab. 

The North Carolina person from Wake County traveled to the state of Washington and was exposed at a long-term care facility where there is currently a COVID-19 outbreak.  The unidentified  person is doing well and is in isolation at home.  

cdc.gov

North Carolina health and public safety officials jumped ahead of President Trump’s news conference to update the state’s coronavirus preparedness efforts.  BPR’s Helen Chickering reports

01/30/20 — The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services today released the final report on the public health investigation into an outbreak of Legionnaires’ disease in people who attended the 2019 NC Mountain State Fair at the Western North Carolina Agricultural Center in Fletcher.   While there isn't a 'smoking gun', the report confirms earlier findings that  the outbreak was likely caused by exposure to Legionella bacteria in aerosolized water from hot tubs that were on display during the fair at the Ag Center in Fletcher.   

2020 will ring in a new vaccine requirement in North Carolina.  It's  the first ever targeting high school students. BPR’s Helen Chickering has details.

scientist.com

It's been a month since health officials announced the Legionnaires' outbreak linked to the Mountain State Fair.  

WNC Ag Center

 

Update:  10/18   NC health officials report a fourth person has died in the Legionnaires' outbreak linked to the Mountain State Fair in Fletcher.  No details about the patient have been released.  So far, 141 cases have been confirmed.