Noting that 34% of North Carolina’s 898 COVID-19 deaths through June 1 have been among African Americans, who make up roughly 22% of North Carolina’s population, NCDHHS Secretary Dr. Mandy Cohen emphasized that structural racism has created health disparities in black communities.
Asheville Police used tear gas and rubber bullets as demonstrators protested police brutality and racial injustice the evening of May 31.
Asheville Pollination Celebration! returns for its eighth year in June. For the first time, the event includes a photography contest.
Carolina Public Press and other news media organizations filed a lawsuit May 28 to obtain public records relating to state’s tracking and handling of COVID-19 crisis.
In June 1948, four Buncombe County residents were diagnosed with polio. At the time, there was a growing concern about a possible statewide epidemic. Worried parents bombarded Asheville’s health officials with phone calls, convinced that these local experts were underreporting the true number of cases in the city.
The region’s small farms have been rocked by the coronavirus, but community support and innovative thinking have enabled many local growers to pivot and persist as they work to find a way forward.
More than 100 protesters chanting “I can’t breathe” and “Black lives matter, they really, really matter” gathered in Pack Square Park and marched to the plaza outside the Buncombe County Courthouse on May 29.
Support for programs in Buncombe County that serve older adults — one of the groups most vulnerable to severe illness from COVID-19 — is set to decrease by more than $78,000 from the current fiscal year, according to a new budget proposed by the county’s Health and Human Services department.
“Most breast cancers require a combination of different treatments, and the order and combination of those things is a whole lot more complicated today than ever before,” says Dr. Blair Harkness, a gynecological oncologist at Hope Women’s Cancer Centers, an arm of Mission Health. Xpress explores the state of modern breast cancer treatment in the region — including how it’s been affected by COVID-19.
As traditional for-profit news outlets face shrinking advertising revenues, staff cuts and consolidation, nonprofit news sources are exploring whether their model may be part of the solution in a changing media landscape. Local outlets help keep communities informed, but right now, they are navigating an uncertain future.
In its second article on COVID-19 hotspot Aston Park Health Care Center, AVL Watchdog speaks with the families of some residents. Unable to see their loved ones in person, they are faced with the difficult task of waiting and hoping.
Since March 16, local government boards and commissions meetings have been canceled, meaning citizens have largely been shut out of formal policy discussions as Asheville City Council and the Buncombe County Board of Commissioners manage the tandem economic and public health crises caused by the coronavirus.
Ruth Pike-Elliot and her wife Bren are expecting their first child on June 4. Quarantining during a pregnancy presents obvious challenges, says the mother-to-be. But the couple has also discovered many benefits in the process.
Six staff members at Asheville’s Mission Hospital have tested positive for COVID-19. “This cluster of cases occurred in some of our most dedicated and talented staff,” said Dr. William Hathaway, Mission Health’s chief medical officer.
“Our objective is to safely and responsibly encourage travel, working hand-in-hand with our local health officials and government, as we move toward that direct invitation of visitors to our community,” said Marla Tambellini, Explore Asheville’s vice president of marketing.
The total fiscal 2020-2021 city budget proposal stands at $184.6 million, a 3% decrease from last year’s total of $190.3 million, and will continue funding for existing services while limiting new programs, service enhancements and initiatives. The property tax rate would remain the same under the proposal, and no fee increases are recommended.
“The No. 1 thing that has increased with the drivers — and I’m sure with the passengers as well — is stress,” says Diane Allen, who has worked as a city bus operator in Asheville for 14 years.
COVID-related deaths in Buncombe County are low, but dying remains a part of daily life. Scott Groce, funeral director at Groce Funeral Home & Cremation Service, discusses the unique challenges of memorial services during the pandemic.
As of May 25, according to the N.C. Department of Health and Human Services, there are zero confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Hot Springs. However, the town is still following statewide protocols to help flatten the curve of coronavirus infections, and businesses such as Laughing Heart Lodge have borne the impacts.
The record daily increase of 1,107 cases is up from a previous high of 853 cases on May 16. The bump came just one day after restaurants, breweries, personal care services and pools were permitted to reopen at 50% capacity as the state moved into Phase 2 of its three-part reopening plan.