What's Happening

Winston-Salem Journal: Temporary and limited Medicaid expansion likely to clear legislature

By Alanna Joyner | April 29, 2020

Since March 15, more than 900,000 North Carolinians have lost their jobs, and in a system where many workers receive health insurance through their employers, most of those people have lost their access to health care too. Many now unemployed workers will not be able to qualify for Medicaid due to North Carolina’s lack of…

News & Observer: The legislature needs to think big on how to respond to COVID-19

By Alanna Joyner | April 27, 2020

The North Carolina General Assembly convenes on Tuesday for its short session — the focus is only on temporary and immediate fixes in response to the current public health crisis. Several bills and summaries that the General Assembly will consider during the short session this week, include small business loans, resources for remote teaching, increased…

Cooper: Steps will need to be taken before NC can fully reopen

By Alanna Joyner | April 27, 2020

On Thursday, Gov. Roy Cooper announced a three-phase outline the state is implementing as it looks to ease the COVID-19 restrictions. During a press conference, Cooper presented the gradual reopening benchmarks that aim to keep as many North Carolinians as possible safe and healthy while easing the state back open.  In order to lift restrictions,…

Continued social distancing necessary to slow the spread and save lives in NC

By Alanna Joyner | April 21, 2020

On April 6, a team of local health experts released a projection model looking at how COVID-19 could affect North Carolina in the coming months. Since its release, state health officials and Gov. Roy Cooper have implemented measures to slow the spread of the virus and preserve hospital capacity to save lives. As a result,…

Gov. Cooper launches effort to test for and trace coronavirus

By Alanna Joyner | April 21, 2020

Last Wednesday, Gov. Roy Cooper outlined the benchmarks North Carolina needs to accomplish first before reopening business during the pandemic. In the press conference, the governor stated that expanded testing capacity, ability to trace contact of all infected people, and improved trends — in terms of the number of cases, hospitalizations, deaths, and the availability…

Trump’s “open license to pollute” could prove fatal as exposure to air pollution increases risk of death from COVID-19

By Alanna Joyner | April 16, 2020

Last month, Trump’s administration rolled back several environmental laws and fines during the coronavirus pandemic. According to new guidelines from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), companies will be exempt from consequences for polluting the air or water during the outbreak. Companies are not expected to adhere to environmental standards or report pollution during this time…

A triple disaster: Uninsured, living far from a hospital, and sick with COVID-19

By Alanna Joyner | April 10, 2020

Rural areas in North Carolina have seen numerous hospitals closed resulting in dwindling options on where to receive medical care. Out of the 100 counties in North Carolina, seventeen do not have state-licensed hospitals resulting in residents — if they are able — traveling up to 30 miles in some cases to the nearest medical…

Progressive Pulse: N.C. Dems want more federal cash to combat hunger during pandemic

By Alanna Joyner | April 9, 2020

Across the state, food banks have responded to the COVID-19 outbreak by overhauling their food distribution to minimize social contact and focusing efforts on at-risk clients. But with unemployment claims soaring to over 474,466, food insecurity for thousands may produce challenges for food banks that distribute food within their communities. In response to the encroaching…

NC Policy Watch: Left behind: Immigrant communities try to navigate COVID-19 with language barriers, lack of resources

By Alanna Joyner | April 8, 2020

Just two weeks ago, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement(ICE) agents attempted to detain an undocumented worker in Cary just after the enforcement agency announced plans to limit enforcement actions amid the COVID-19 pandemic. With the largest national public health crisis gripping the nation, already vulnerable communities are being left behind. For immigrant populations, safety concerns,…