What's Happening

WRAL: Trump must act, not distract, on COVID-19 to move U.S. forward

By Alanna Joyner | May 5, 2020

COVID-19 cases are approaching 12,256 in North Carolina; 1.2 million in the nation and 3.7 million worldwide. Instead of increasing testing and treatment; providing adequate protection for healthcare workers; and reducing the spread of the virus that is taking a toll on lives and the economy — Trump chooses to dodge responsibility and deny the…

Decades of cuts leaving Eastern North Carolina hospitals vulnerable to financial losses due to coronavirus

By Alanna Joyner | May 5, 2020

North Carolina currently has 49 rural and independent hospitals around the state, but the financial toll caused by the COVID-19 outbreak may strain the remaining hospitals already struggling from decades of funding cuts.  As the pandemic continues to sweep across the state, rural hospitals are set to lose more than $145 million per month. The…

WRAL: EPA won’t further limit air pollution despite coronavirus concerns

By Alanna Joyner | May 4, 2020

On Thursday, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced that it will not enforce regulations that would limit the amount of small particles in our air. This comes after a new study released by Harvard found that people with COVID-19 who live in regions with high levels of air pollution across the country, are more likely…

Lawmakers falter on Medicaid expansion in the coronavirus relief package

By Alanna Joyner | May 4, 2020

With more than one million North Carolinians who have lost their jobs in a system where many workers receive health insurance through their employers and over 49 rural hospitals losing millions per month, the need for Medicaid expansion is paramount.  Yet, state lawmakers moved forward in passing the coronavirus relief package with very limited and…

NC legislature passes COVID-19 relief, without expanding jobless benefits or Medicaid

By Alanna Joyner | May 4, 2020

On May 2, the North Carolina General Assembly approved a $1.57 million COVID-19 relief package. Votes in both the House and the Senate during the Saturday session were unanimous, marking the legislature’s first response to the pandemic.  The $1.57 billion package contains funding for education, health care, small business loans, food banks, medical research, testing…

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,…