What's Happening

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,…

NCHN: COVID-19 accentuates barriers for the deaf and hard of hearing

By Alanna Joyner | April 6, 2020

In the midst of a public health crisis, various communities are being heavily impacted and the necessity to provide vital information for everyone as society consistently changes due to COVID-19, is important.  But that lifesaving information can be lost in translation or limited for those within the deaf community. In a state that has almost…

NC researchers: Models show social distancing makes big impact on hospital capacity

By Alanna Joyner | April 6, 2020

New projection models released today shows that social distancing practices will significantly reduce the chance that hospitals will be overwhelmed by COVID-19 patients. A team of local health experts determined that if social distance policies remain, predictions of increased cases could lessen — emphasizing the importance of maintaining social distancing.  From WRAL: The model shows…

“Shelter in place” is impossible if there’s no guaranteed housing for thousands

By Alanna Joyner | April 2, 2020

Pivotal measures such as self-distancing and social-isolation have been mandated across the United States in an effort to combat the COVID-19 pandemic. Numerous states have implemented “stay-at-home” orders, but what if individuals do not have homes to go to? According to a 2018 report by the US Department of Housing and Urban Development, on a…

Medical professionals share challenges, urgent needs with lawmakers as COVID-19 cases rise

By Alanna Joyner | March 31, 2020

According to the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services, North Carolina currently has 1,498 confirmed coronavirus cases across the state. As cases continue to rise, medical professionals remain concerned about lack of protective equipment, medical supplies and the potential for hospitals across the state to become overwhelmed by patients.  At the first meeting…