Health care workers wearing masks

Hospitals brace for COVID-19 cases, clamp down on visitors

Area hospitals have taken somewhat differing approaches to the question of whether to stop performing elective surgeries and other medical procedures. There are worries nationally about whether there will be enough personal protective gear like masks and gloves for health care workers, but hospitals in the Asheville area say they have good supplies for now.

Deserted Haywood Street

Buncombe responds to COVID-19: March 19

Buncombe County’s revised emergency declaration restricts gatherings to 10 people or less, a stronger mandate than the current statewide prohibition of gatherings of over 100 people. The mandate also requires gyms, fitness centers and exercise facilities, indoor pools, spas, movie theaters, live performance venues and arcades to close until further notice.

State, local government­s respond as Buncombe’s first contact with disease is confirmed

The effects of the public school closure and a mandatory statewide ban on gatherings of 100 or more people are rippling through the community. And the county health department confirmed that an individual with COVID-19, the disease caused by the new coronavirus, visited Buncombe County March 10-13.

Brownie Newman at Buncombe COVID-19 press conference

Buncombe County, Asheville declare states of emergency over COVID-19

Buncombe County Board of Commissioners Chair Brownie Newman declared a local state of emergency due to the increasing number of cases of COVID-19 in North Carolina. The move followed a statewide emergency declaration from Gov. Roy Cooper just two days earlier. Mayor Esther Manheimer subsequently declared a state of emergency for the city of Asheville.

From CPP: HCA rejects complaints about staffing and services as nurses seek union

After more than a month of being criticized by patients and elected officials at a series of public meetings, HCA Healthcare is responding to allegations of inadequate staffing and poor service at the Mission Health facilities it acquired last year. But even as the company speaks out, nurses from its Asheville hospitals rallied Sunday, with calls for a union to improve working conditions at the medical facilities the company acquired last year. Buncombe County Commission Chair Brownie Newman and Asheville Mayor Esther Manheimer issued a joint letter supporting the nurses’ efforts.

From CPP: Resource guide for preparing, preventing and dealing with COVID-19 in NC

By Imari Scarbrough, originally published by Carolina Public Press. Carolina Public Press is an independent, in-depth and investigative nonprofit news service for North Carolina. COVID-19, also known as the new coronavirus, is a highly contagious illness that is spreading around the world in early 2020. While the virus, which first emerged in the Wuhan province of China, causes potentially […]