With more numbers than ever, it can be hard to understand the magnitude of the pandemic in North Carolina. N.C. Health News created three charts to help make sense of coronavirus in the state.
The Farm at Pond Road, to comprise 575 apartments, 80 townhomes and 32 single-family homes, will be one of the largest residential projects in Buncombe County in recent years. It is to be built in two stages over the next few years.
In Western North Carolina, the main regional hospitals say they currently have more than enough capacity to provide care for area residents. But their approaches, protocols and treatment options for COVID-19 vary.
After reviewing death records, a county long-term care facility is now regarding 10 deaths previously attributed to COVID-19 as not caused by the coronavirus. The change will lower Buncombe’s total COVID-19 deaths to 30.
Independence Day will look different this year. Faced with the challenge of preserving tradition while also protecting public health, many community celebrations have pivoted to allow attendees to socially distance as they celebrate the country’s founding — but fireworks can be found at a couple of locations in Western North Carolina.
Vance, Patton, Woodfin, Henderson, Weaver, Chunn, Baird — their names are familiar to anyone living in Asheville and Buncombe County today. All were wealthy and influential civic leaders. They were also major slaveholders or slave traders and white supremacists.
Masks are required, bars are closed and isolation fatigue is setting in. As Buncombe enters this new phase, Xpress took a look at the COVID-19 stats — both in Western North Carolina and in some likely points of origin for short-term visitors.
With farmers losing access to customers and many people facing food insecurity during pandemic, the Appalachian Sustainable Agriculture Project offers a solution.
“We’ve taken to the streets to tell you what we need,” said North Asheville resident Katie Hudson. “It smacks of irony and disrespect to come forward with a proposal that you’re going to listen to people when we are actively telling you what we want right now.”
Rachel Atkins was told she had to prepay a 12-month lease because of her job in the service industry. After an outpouring of comments on social media, the property was removed from the market.
In February, Elise Guillemet and several of her students traveled from Saumur, France, to Asheville as part of an exchange program. Shortly after their return home, a nationwide lockdown went into effect.
A new statewide face covering mandate will go into effect on Friday, June 26, at 5 p.m., a month after Buncombe County began requiring face coverings in all public indoor facilities. Under the new executive order, people are required to wear a face covering in all indoor or outdoor public spaces when physical distancing is not possible.
During a June 24 meeting, the Buncombe County Tourism Development Authority board heard a presentation from marketing firm 360i about a new advertising campaign, scheduled to start in July, designed to attract a “responsible tourist audience” to the region. Ads will target visitors whose behaviors agree with “psychographic statements” about “willingness to conform.”
Masks will be required in public places on honor system except when eating or drinking. Businesses that don’t require masks may be cited.
“I feel like our relationships got a lot deeper, because we were holding Zoom meetings in our living rooms. We got to see a different side of [the students].”
Xpress reached out to several local international organizations to discuss what insights their global work could offer Western North Carolina residents who are grappling with the ongoing legacy of white supremacy in America.
While Harvest Records remains shuttered, the business has started offering curbside pickup, mail orders and the occasional local delivery as co-owner Mark Capon tries to reimagine the usual record store experience through a virtual platform.
According to the latest data from the N.C. Department of Health and Human Services, individuals under the age of 50 make up 67% of COVID-19 cases but only 5% of COVID-19 deaths. Plus, statewide metrics continue to worsen.
African Americans in Asheville are three times more likely than white people to be searched by police in traffic stops and are disproportionately charged with common crimes such as marijuana possession in disparities that experts in police bias called shocking, an AVL Watchdog analysis of police data found.
While local and state officials with the N.C. Department of Transportation say the nearly-$1 billion I-26 Connector project remains on schedule, recent financial woes at the agency have delayed some projects in the region. And those in the know say it’s too soon to say whether the domino effects from those delays may push off the start of construction for the connector project or affect later project stages.
As the coronavirus continues to spread through the community, county staff are conducting universal testing at 35 skilled nursing and adult care facilities. NCDPS is also beginning testing all incarcerated individuals within the state prison system.