Health

Embodied: Trailer

Jul 28, 2020

Impolite conversations. Intimate connections. Important self-discoveries. 

Check out the trailer for WUNC's new podcast Embodied, hosted by Anita Rao.

Coming soon!


The pandemic hasn’t halted much traffic for summer vacationers in some areas of the North Carolina coast. In June, Cape Hatteras National Seashore in Dare County saw its largest number of visitors in nearly 20 years. But even as people come from states with higher COVID numbers, Dare County’s health department has mostly been able to keep COVID under control. 

Host Dave DeWitt talks with Sheila Davies, director of the department of health and human services in Dare County, about the role of residents and visitors in combating the virus in the coastal county. We also hear about a new app that aims to help healthcare workers better understand their mental health.


As COVID-19 Spread In Meatpacking Plants, Workplace Complaints Piled Up

Jul 28, 2020
Tyson Farms meat processing plant in Wilkesboro was temporarily closed for cleaning after workers tested positive for COVID-19
Jacob Biba / Carolina Public Press

In April, a worker at Pilgrim's Pride poultry processing plant in Sanford called workplace safety regulators to complain that the plant wasn't notifying employees when other staffers tested positive for the coronavirus. 

Thousands Of NC Families Await Help For Special Needs Kids

Jul 28, 2020
Jacob Fields, right, plays walks with his son Roan, left, in a wooded area adjacent to Murdoch Developmental Center in Butner, N.C. on Thursday, Jan. 3, 2019.
Ben McKeown / For WUNC

For families with special needs children, putting kids into institutional care is often a desperate act of last resort. Many parents and caregivers prefer to keep their children at home where they can give them as much love and attention as possible, but they need help to do so. Families of children with severe intellectual and developmental disabilities are eligible for assistance from the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services through a portion of Medicaid called the Innovations Waiver.

Coronavirus N.C. State prep mask
Gerry Broome / AP

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 July 20.

6:10 p.m. - Governor Roy Cooper has declared a State of Emergency as Hurricane Isaias threatens to become North Carolina’s first test in responding to a hurricane in the midst of the pandemic. Forecasts differ, but the storm could reach the coast Monday as it tracks north. Meanwhile, coronavirus cases are near peak levels in the state. Cooper said social distancing means shelters won’t be able to hold as many people. So if evacuations are necessary, coastal residents should plan to stay with friends or family inland, or at a hotel. Those who need a shelter will be screened for COVID-19 and some may be housed in hotels for more isolation or, if they have symptoms, at a medical facility. - Jay Price, WUNC

A Grubhub delivery driver picks up two boxes of pizza
Ben McKeown / For WUNC

A report from UNC Chapel Hill says there's a higher probability of death from COVID-19 in some of North Carolina's rural counties.

The pandemic has infiltrated and affected every aspect of human life, across the globe. The devastating health and economic impacts have been undeniable, and ever-present.

But there’s something else happening that’s not as noticeable: the animals. Creatures with fur, feathers and paws have been spotted in some unexpected places since there haven't been as many humans getting in their way.

WUNC’s Laura Pellicer and Elizabeth Friend were curious about the effect a drastic decrease in human activity might have on wildlife. So they decided to look at one animal in particular, and see if it’s behavior has changed since North Carolina shut down from COVID-19.

On this episode, we’re featuring "CREEP," an audio special about our relationship with wildlife during the pandemic.

 


Jeff Hampton / The Virginian-Pilot via AP

 

Lifeguards on a beach in North Carolina's Outer Banks have posted a new purple flag that is adorned with images of a jelly fish and a stringray.

covid
LM Otero / AP

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 July 13.

2:50 p.m. - A temporary waiver giving people extra flexibility in preparing Living Wills and Health Care Powers of Attorney is set to end next week. These two directives have traditionally required notarization and the signatures of two witnesses. In response to the pandemic, the General Assembly passed a law in May waiving the the witness requirement until July 31. The Secretary of State's office says emergency video notarizations will be available to people preparing their advance directives until March. - Rebecca Martinez, WUNC

NC DHHS

North Carolina hit a record number of coronavirus hospitalizations this week, a day after Gov. Roy Cooper announced a three-week extension of Phase 2. 

What will happen in the fall? It’s a question that’s burning in the minds of parents, teachers and students since schools were closed in March. On Tuesday, Governor Roy Cooper announced schools will be allowed to reopen for both in-person and remote learning with safety protocols in place. Meanwhile, parents are faced with the difficulty of determining what will be best for their child’s health and education in the upcoming semester.

We hear from Dr. Charlene Wong, assistant professor of pediatrics at Duke University, about the impact of in-person and remote learning on families and students.

We also talk with Dr. Brian Burrows, medical director and chair of the emergency department at Duke Regional Hospital, about life as a medical professional during a pandemic, and how to manage personal well-being as a doctor on the frontlines.

bus
Cole del Charco / WUNC

Governor Roy Cooper is slated to provide an update on education plans for K-12 public schools during the coronavirus pandemic. He will also issue a general update on statewide COVID-19 measures.

Watch the briefing live starting at 3 p.m.

The transgender rights flag with a healthcare emblem.
GLAAD

Stigma, confusion and outright discrimination shape the health care experiences of many transgender and gender non-conforming people. In a national survey of transgender people in the U.S., 29% said health care providers had refused to see them because of their actual or perceived gender identity. 

On this edition of the Embodied series, host Anita Rao learns about the ways gender-affirming doctor’s visits, home life and classrooms can improve health outcomes for transgender and gender-nonconforming people. 

Medical personel handle testing at a community coronavirus testing site operated by Cone Health and the county Health Department in Burlington, N.C., Thursday, July 9, 2020.
Gerry Broome / AP

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 July 6.

4:15 p.m. - With coronavirus infection rates setting new records across much of the country, medical troops from Fort Bragg have been deployed to help in one of the worst-hit states. Seventy-one soldiers with the 44th Medical Brigade have flown to McAllen, Texas. According to an emailed statement from the Army, they’ll help civilian hospitals in that area deal with critical care COVID-19 cases. Infection rates are so bad  in parts of Texas — including McAllen — that intensive care units are full, hospitals are adding beds in temporary facilities and refrigerated trucks have been ordered to help with overflow at morgues. The state hit a new single-day record for Covid-related deaths this week. - Jay Price, WUNC

The personal loss of a loved one leads host Leoneda Inge to reflect deeply on the recent experience of saying goodbye during the pandemic.

Despite social distancing and stay-at-home orders preventing large groups from gathering together, Black communities have still found ways to mourn the loss of family and friends.  Whether it’s live streaming a service, mandating face masks, limiting attendance or offering creative kinds of support to relatives, people are adapting to the current challenges of organizing funerals and memorials.

Inge also talks with Nina Jones Mason, manager of Ellis D. Jones & Sons Funeral Directors, about grieving during this unique time.


Tahir Siddeeq

If a drug proven to reduce coronavirus transmission by 50% to 85% existed, would you take it? Masks offer that kind of protection for public health, and yet people still go out in public without them. Why is that?

After months of socially distant play dates, remote learning and unplanned Fortnite marathons, families have done their very best to find a “new normal” during the pandemic. Throughout all the stress and uncertainty, families are staying resilient, creative and connected.

We talk with Dr. Christine Murray, director of the Center for Youth, Family, and Community Partnerships at UNC-Greensboro, about shifting family dynamics and how households have adjusted to different routines in quarantine.

We also talk with Dr. Anita Blanchard, associate professor of psychological and organization science at UNC-Charlotte, about the influence of video conferencing platforms like Zoom on people’s sense of community.


Confederate monuments, memorials, and names on buildings are coming down across the South. In the last month, many of the region's long standing symbols have been stripped, from the Mississippi state flag to a statue of Stonewall Jackson in Richmond, Virginia.

Host Leoneda Inge visits the city of Quincy, Florida, after officials swiftly removed their Confederate landmark, and she speaks with Mitch Colvin, mayor of Fayetteville, North Carolina, about recent protests against the legacy of Confederate symbolism in his city. Leoneda also reflects on the significance of recent changes to capitalize “Black” in newsrooms.

Our thanks to WRAL for supplying some of this episode's audio.

 


study by Wake Forest Baptist Health has found that between 12-14% of people tested in North Carolina have antibodies for the coronavirus -- meaning they have been exposed to the virus -- with most of them showing little or no symptoms. 

A masked woman looks out her window.
Victoria Bouloubasis for Enlace Latino NC/Southerly

North Carolina’s COVID-19 cases continue to climb, and the state’s Black and Latino populations are being hit the hardest. Black citizens comprise about 22% of the state’s population, but they account for a third of deaths. And nearly half of the people who have tested positive identify as Hispanic, even though the group makes up less than 10% of the state’s population. 

Chris Seward, File / AP Photo

  The U.S. Army has quarantined 90 soldiers and instructors in the Special Forces school who tested positive for the coronavirus during a survival course at Fort Bragg.

North Carolina residents have lived under various rules and policies throughout the gradual reopening, and last week Governor Roy Cooper added a new one to the list: a statewide mandate to wear face coverings.

Growing evidence shows that face masks can help reduce the spread of the virus. Yet some people, like President Donald Trump, are still reluctant to wear one.

We talk with Dr. Julia Marcus, an epidemiologist at Harvard Medical School, about the rhetoric tied to wearing a face mask and how public health messaging can adapt. We also hear from a hygiene expert about a possible future for sports fans.


Public Domain pxhere.com

All North Carolinians living and working in nursing homes will soon receive a one-time coronavirus test, the state announced Tuesday.

As Black, Latinx, and Indigenous populations continue to endure a disproportionate number of COVID-19-related deaths, state and local health departments are working to increase access to testing and other health care services for communities of color.

Host Leoneda Inge travels to a free testing site in a predominantly Black community in Tallahassee, FL, and talks with Dr. Cardra Burns, senior deputy director of the North Carolina Division of Public Health, about our state’s efforts to bolster testing and break down systemic barriers to health care.

We also make a big announcement about the podcast and hear from musician Shana Tucker about her experience performing “America the Beautiful” on the cello as a Confederate monument was recently disassembled in Raleigh.

Our thanks to the News & Observer for supplying some of this episode’s audio.

Correction: a previous version of this story misidentified Dr. Cardra Burns as the senior deputy secretary of the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services.

Cooper at a lecturn.
UNC-TV

North Carolina will remain in Phase 2 of reopening until at least July 17. Governor Roy Cooper also announced a mask requirement that goes into effect today at 5 p.m. 

Some doctors and nurses with the Air Force Reserves are warning the public not to underestimate the continued threat posed by the coronavirus. They were among thousands of military personnel who deployed to New York City during the height of its pandemic.

As COVID-19 Patients Increase, Hospitals Prepare For Surge

Jun 25, 2020
The COVID-19 triage tent next to the UNC Rex Hospital emergency department.
Jason deBruyn / WUNC

Leaders at health systems around the state say a combination of better medical care and larger stockpiles of protective gear mean they can handle surges in COVID-19 patients more effectively today than they could three months ago.

Governor Roy Cooper in a candid photo wearing his black face mask where he gives coronavirus briefings.
File Photo, Courtesy Governor Roy Cooper Twitter

North Carolina is not meeting the health trends required to move to the next phase of reopening, explained State Health Secretary Dr. Mandy Cohen in Wednesday's coronavirus briefing.

The state Department of Health and Human Services reports three clusters of COVID-19 at childcare centers across North Carolina. A “cluster” is defined as five or more cases, with links between cases, at a licensed or regulated childcare facility.

As state health officials try to mitigate these clusters, parents and childcare directors must grapple with what’s best for kids’ safety. About a third of all childcare centers in the state have remained closed since March, while advocates predict around a third of facilities could close permanently.

We talk with WUNC education reporter Liz Schlemmer about the obstacles childcare owners and parents are facing. We also hear about a camp that’s adjusting to a different kind of summer.

Pregnant woman.
Montse PB via flickr, Creative Commons

There’s an old wives’ tale about hurricanes having an effect on pregnant women that can cause a premature birth.

However, according to a recent study from East Carolina University, that claim is actually true.

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