Health

NC National Guard Covid Mask
U.S. Army photo by Staff Sgt. Mary Junell, via Flickr / https://bit.ly/349yfMJ

This post will be updated periodically with the latest information on how the coronavirus is affecting North Carolina. Scroll down for older updates. For a recap of last week's news, check out Coronavirus Live Updates: Week of Sept. 21.

2:20 p.m. - It will likely be another month before an extra $50 a week will be distributed to North Carolinians receiving unemployment benefits. When the legislature passed the latest COVID-19 relief bill in early September, it included the $50 a week supplement to federal unemployment benefits. But a spokeswoman for the state's employment agency says the division had to reprogram and test its IT system before sending out the money. She says the distribution has been made more complicated by the fact that the cap on extended federal benefits will drop from about 9 weeks to 6 six weeks next month. The additional funds will be sent by the end of October, and will be retroactive to September 6. The state has received more than 2.4 million unemployment claims since the pandemic hit North Carolina in March. - Will Michaels, WUNC

Anita knows how frustrating it can be to find the right doctor and get good healthcare. Transgender people have to navigate all those challenges and take extra measures to advocate for their wellbeing with medical providers who are too often untrained to treat them.

Want to support this podcast? Subscribe on your favorite audio app, leave a review on Apple Podcasts, join the conversation at #EmbodiedWUNC or give to WUNC.


Anita Rao  00:03

When a COVID-19 outbreak hits a community, one of the first responses is to perform contact tracing to pinpoint the outbreak's origin and inform people at risk to quarantine. But defenses against the virus can only go so far without consistent support from the public. 

Host Dave DeWitt talks with WFAE reporter David Boraks about the effectiveness of contact tracing around Charlotte, NC.

Dave also speaks with Meera Viswanathan, a fellow with RTI International and director of the RTI-UNC Evidence-Based Practice Center, about a recent analysis of coronavirus health screenings.


Carter-Finley Stadium, where the North Carolina State University Wolfpack play home football games.
N.C. State Athletics

College and professional sports teams in North Carolina may soon be allowed to host a few thousand fans in outdoor stadiums, Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper announced on Tuesday.

A nurse holds up a sign saying "Safe Staffing Saves Lives"
Angela Wilhelm/Citizen Times

Around 1,800 healthcare workers at Mission Hospitals are now represented by National Nurses United. In a press release, NNU called the election “the largest hospital union victory in the South since 1975.” Seventy percent of the ballots cast were in favor of union representation at two Asheville-based health facilities owned by HCA Healthcare. 

COVID coronavirus mask kids bikes police greenville
City of Greenville, via Flickr / https://bit.ly/2RONEMk

This post will be updated periodically with the latest information on how the coronavirus is affecting North Carolina. Scroll down for older updates. For a recap of last week's news, check out Coronavirus Live Updates: Week of Sept. 14.

3:40 p.m. - The state is adding data on antigen testing to its COVID-19 dashboard. The new information will include cases and deaths diagnosed with an antigen test, and the number of antigen tests completed daily. Formerly the health department only reported tests confirmed with a molecular test that detects the virus's genetic material. Antigen tests, which account for roughly 2% of COVID-19 tests in North Carolina, look for specific proteins on the surface of the virus. The department says it can add the antigen testing data due to improved reporting processes, and is joining 31 other states in doing so. - Cole del Charco, WUNC

Governor Roy Cooper and members of the state Coronavirus Task Force will deliver a public coronavirus briefing at 3 p.m., followed by questions from the media.

Watch live, beginning at 3 p.m.:

Mental Health Provider 'Subjected Clients To Exploitation,' Judge Says

Sep 17, 2020
UYCS
Jason deBruyn / WUNC

On a hot morning in mid-July, Natacia Doolin stood outside the padlocked front door of her deteriorating unit at South Pointe Apartments in Greensboro with her husband, their two children and pretty much everything they owned, waiting to find out if her family would find another place to live.

A few days earlier, Doolin had been told they would need to vacate the apartment, which they found through a housing program connected to a mental health provider.

Charts and graphs of COVID-19 surveillance reports
Hertford County Government

Though COVID-19 struck North Carolina’s suburban and urban communities earliest, the virus has begun to sweep through the state’s rural communities at an alarming rate. 

Anita is thinking more and more about entering the club of motherhood. But first, she'd appreciate a reality check on things we don't often talk about — like child care and health concerns around pregnancy and labor. Want to support this podcast? Subscribe on your favorite audio app, leave a review on Apple Podcasts, join the conversation at #EmbodiedWUNC or give to WUNC.


Anita Rao  00:05

Chris Carlson / AP Photo

North Carolina Republican Lt. Gov. Dan Forest said on Wednesday that he would immediately reopen all K-12 public schools without requiring students or teachers to wear masks if he were governor.

North Carolina has been in some version of a statewide shutdown for nearly six months. Throughout that time, COVID-19 has demanded a never-ending list of challenges and risks, especially for communities of color. Since the beginning of the pandemic, African Americans have accounted for a disproportionate number of coronavirus-related deaths due to long-standing systemic racial health disparities.

Host Dave DeWitt talks with Whitney Robinson, an associate professor of epidemiology at the UNC Gillings School of Public Health, about ways the virus could have been more mitigated, and the efforts communities of color are making to keep themselves safe.

Dave also discusses how the North Carolina Forest Service is providing aid to western states as raging wildfires continue to burn millions of acres.
 


Public health officials across North Carolina are continuing to use contact tracing in hopes of limiting spread of the coronavirus. When it works, they can pinpoint the origin of an outbreak, map it and ask people to quarantine. But area health departments have successfully traced only a few large outbreaks. More often, they meet resistance as people refuse to share information or follow quarantine requests. 

North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Dr. Mandy Cohen and Director of North Carolina Emergency Management Mike Sprayberry will be available for a briefing regarding COVID-19.

Watch live here, starting at 2 p.m.

Kim Chandler / AP Photo

As COVID-19 swept through the South, Mel Prince watched with alarm as some of the HIV positive patients she helps in the rural Black Belt stopped showing up for lab tests and doctor's visits.

Robert Willett/The News & Observer / via AP, Pool

This post will be updated periodically with the latest information on how the coronavirus is affecting North Carolina. Scroll down for older updates. For a recap of last week's news, check out Coronavirus Live Updates: Week of Sept. 7.

4:20 p.m. - North Carolina's unemployment rate declined in August. The seasonally adjusted rate was 6.5%, which was down two percentage points from July's revised rate. North Carolina's unemployment rate in August was 2.7% higher than the same month last year. Unemployment in North Carolina has remained lower than the national average since the pandemic struck in March. - Liz Schlemmer, WUNC

Abundant psilocybin mushrooms growing in a tupperware inside a tidy home
Dana Saxon

The world of psychedelics is painted with neon colors and smiling, white hippies with long hair who use hallucinogenic substances for wild, recreational trips. But psychedelics like LSD, MDMA (also known as molly or ecstasy) and psilocybin (also known as magic mushrooms) have a much richer history in their use as therapeutic medicines, which existed in Indigenous communities long before Western culture and medicine discovered them. 

Anita loves podcasts, especially ones that make space for intimate, unexpected conversations. "The Only One In The Room," hosted by Laura Cathcart Robbins, is one of those shows. This episode explores the excitement and emotions of being in an open marriage.


As COVID-19 cases climb at many colleges and universities in North Carolina, schools are maintaining dashboards to track and present different data and terminology. But are the dashboards enough of a resource to keep students and faculty informed about the virus on their campus?

Host Dave DeWitt talks with WUNC education reporter Liz Schlemmer about the role of dashboards in tracking COVID-19 cases at colleges and universities.
 


The book jacket for "Adverse Effects"
NYU Press

 

Before a pharmaceutical treatment can hit the pharmacy shelves, manufacturers must prove the product’s safety through a series of trials. Phase I trials are on healthy participants to find the best dosage with the fewest side effects and to prove the treatment is not unsafe.

The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services (NCDHHS) is holding briefings Thursday regarding COVID-19. At 3 p.m., Dr. Viviana Martinez-Bianchi will announce updates and the new campaign in Spanish, and answer questions from the media in Spanish.

Watch here, live:

Anita has a gut feeling none of us know as much as we should about the connection between our intestinal health and how our minds work.

Want to support this podcast? Subscribe on your favorite audio app, leave a review on Apple Podcasts, join the conversation at #EmbodiedWUNC or give to WUNC.


Anita Rao  00:04

Sitting at home and from her cellphone screen on July 24, Ana Chagoyán, a Mexican mother who lives near Charlotte, said her last goodbye to her brother Juan. He was just 40 years old.

Playgrounds throughout Durham, N.C. city parks were closed March 26, 2020 after Mayor Steve Schewel issued a stay-at-home order for the city in an effort to battle the coronavirus pandemic.
Chuck Liddy / For WUNC

Governor Roy Cooper announced on Tuesday that North Carolina will enter the next phase of reopening, dubbed “Phase 2.5,” starting Friday at 5 p.m.

As universities wrestle with a semester upended by COVID-19, college athletes in the ACC are being asked to stay on campus and get ready for their upcoming seasons.

Host Dave DeWitt talks with Andrew Carter, reporter for the News & Observer and Charlotte Observer, about the fall football season and what it signals for the rest of college athletics.

We also hear about a weekly newscast called "John News," hosted by seven-year-old John Wartmore of Chapel Hill, NC.
 


 

A company in the Hickory area helped develop a technology that could make social distancing and coronavirus contact tracing easier. 

Pages