public health

BPR is answering listener queries about the Coronavirus in a new segment –Talk to Us: COVID Questions.  BPR’s Helen Chickering brings us this week’s answer.   

This week's question comes from Emma Rodriguez of Henderson County. “After getting the COVID-19 vaccine, if I get  tested for COVID-19,  will the test come out positive?”

Macon Public Health

In order to meet the demand for vaccinating residents, Macon County is cutting back on contact tracing.

On Monday, Macon County Public Health department announced it would no longer issue press releases about COVID-19 clusters in order to move three nurses from contract tracing duties to COVID-19 testing and vaccinations.

“If you could double my staff then I could vaccinate all week long and test all week long.”

Every Friday,  BPR's Helen Chickering talks with NC Health News founding editor Rose Hoban.  This week they discuss North Carolina’s move to Phase 2.5 of the governor’s reopening plan, what happened behind the scenes as lawmakers hammered out the remainder of the federal coronavirus relief package, and why some researchers are revisiting the question about conducting research in prisons.  

dailytarheel.com

Every Friday,  BPR's Helen Chickering talks with NC Health News founding editor Rose Hoban.  This week they discuss the quick- switch to all online-learning by two universities in the UNC system, the complicated challenge of communicating public health messages during a pandemic along with a check-in with primary care practices. 

Greg Barnes

Every Friday, we check in with NC Health News founding editor Rose Hoban to discuss the latest coronavirus news making headlines.  This week, the conversation focused on  an investigation by NC Health news reporter Thomas Goldsmith about the quality of care  at state owned veteran’ nursing homes managed by a private company, and where 36 North Carolina residents of military service have died of COVID-19.

ncdps.gov

North Carolina COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations keep rising, but NC is still in better shape than many Southern states.   However, the disproportionate number of cases among Latinx/Hispanic communities  continues to concern health officials and was the focus of Thursday’s coronavirus briefing that included high-ranking leaders from the Mexican and Guatemalan Consulate.  BPR’s Helen Chickering asked  NC Health News founding editor Rose Hoban about numbers, the push in prevention efforts in Latino communities and more during their Friday check-in.

Cass Herrington / BPR News

Latinos now account for more than a quarter of Covid-19 cases in Buncombe County.

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.

MAHEC

What happens when a medical student and a dental resident harness 3D technology to help flatten the coronavirus curve in North Carolina?  BPR’s Helen Chickering reports.

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. 

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. 

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.  

BPR

Climate change is a complicated topic, especially when you start to unpack the impact on human health.   In this installment of BPR's Climate City series,  Helen Chickering  introduces us to two WNC researchers who are collaborating to tackle that challenge. 

CREDIT CDC/DR. FRED MURPHY / WIKIPEDIA

North Carolina now has a  task force dedicated to help residents say safe and informed about COVID 19 – the novel coronavirus that has killed more than 1,000 in China.  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.   

NCDHHS

The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services is reporting the first influenza-associated pediatric death for the 2019–2020  flu season. Health officials say a child in Western North Carolina died in December from complications associated with influenza infection. To protect the family’s privacy, no further information regarding this child will be released.

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.

Buncombe County Schools

Educators, mental health professionals, and law enforcement are gathering in Asheville this weekend to tackle what has been dubbed “an unaddressed public health crisis.”  BPR’s Helen Chickering talked with one of the conference organizers who is helping shine the spotlight on the issue here in Western North Carolina.

scientist.com

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

@ncstatefair

 

Update 10/16:  On the heels of the Legionnaires' outbreak linked to September's Mountain State Fair in Fletcher,  health officials are taking proactive measures as the N.C. State Fair in Raleigh prepares to open tomorrow.  BPR’s Helen Chickering reports.

CDC

Update 10/10:  State health officials have confirmed a second death in the Legionnaires' outbreak  connected to September's  Mountain State Fair in Fletcher.   Eighty-eight people have been hospitalized.

allbacteria.com

Update:  10/10

State health officials have confirmed a second death in the Legionnaires' outbreak  connected to the Mountain State Fair in September.   Eighty-eight people have been hospitalized. 

WNC Ag Center

10/3 Update:  4 p.m.

State Health officials have released preliminary findings of their investigation into the source of the Legionnaires' outbreak at the Mountain State Fair in Fletcher, September 6-15. 128 cases of the severe lung infection have now been confirmed. One person has died. State Epidemiologist Dr. Zack Moore told reporters during a phone conference that fairgoers who were diagnosed were much more likely to report being in the Davis Event Center - an indoor facility.

"The second thing that has come out of the data so far is that people who were diagnosed were much more likely to be walking by hot tub displays when in the Davis Event Center, " says Dr. Moore, "Then a third finding we think is relevant is that people who developed Legionnaires disease attended fair in latter half of fair compared to people who didn’t get sick."

Laura Elizabeth Pohl / Creative Commons

A health clinic that’s been serving migrant farm workers in Western Carolina for almost 60 years is hoping a new initiative will spur more conversations about the people who harvest your produce.  

cdc

This week, US Health officials announced there are just over 700 reported measles cases across the country.  That’s the most cases in 25 years and a major source of frustration for public health officials since measles was declared eliminated in this country back in 2000.  Twenty-two states have reported cases, North Carolina has not yet made the list –but state health officials, especially here in Buncombe County, are on alert. BPR’s Helen Chickering has details.

“This is something that just doesn’t happen. It is being deliberately mischaracterized to shame women and to make a court case to overturn Roe V. Wade.” - Buncombe County Democratic state senator Terry Van Duyn during Senate Judiciary Committee's heated debate over SB 359

Asheville is hosting North Carolina’s tenth annual communicable disease conference this week. Public health professionals are learning about the latest infectious disease trends and the tools they need to prevent, detect and treat them.   This year also marks the 100th anniversary of Public Health Nurses in North Carolina.     

NC health officials say the meeting provides an opportunity to share evidence-based information and best practices for addressing public health problems and and communicable disease investigations. 

countyhealthrankings.org

When it comes to the health of its counties Western North Carolina gets mixed reviews. BPR’s Helen Chickering has the latest results from the annual County Health Rankings and Roadmaps report.

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