From North Carolina Health News: As COVID-19 threatened western N.C., a new approach to fighting it in long-term care

Well before COVID-19 hit Western North Carolina, Henderson County formed a strike team to respond to outbreak in long-term care facilities. As the months wore on, the team proved invaluable to staff and residents at Cherry Springs Village, an assisted living facility in Hendersonville.

Musician April Bennett gets creative in finding her ‘new normal’ 

Instead of a packed house, musician April Bennett and local hip-hop band Lyric played to a nearly empty space at the Orange Peel for the May 15 livestream of Downtown After 5. “It was definitely weird playing in one of the biggest rooms in the city with no people in it except for the staff who were recording it,” she remarks with a laugh. “But I was really glad for that [opportunity]. It was definitely a much-needed morale boost during these crazy, crazy times.”

Expanded programs support behavioral health issues during pandemic

“You don’t have to be a psychiatrist to know that when you take away people’s routines and jobs, it’s difficult for them, especially if they have a mental illness,” says Brian Ingraham, CEO of Vaya Health. New federal funding will help two Western North Carolina agencies expand mental health services, some directly related to the pandemic and the rest addressing overall behavioral health issues.

Religious leaders, public officials come together on Church Street

“We stand in prayer and solidarity against all forms of lawlessness and violence, whether it’s the lawlessness and violence of rioters and looters or the police officers who engage in police brutality such as that recently committed against a black man named George Floyd in Minneapolis,” Dr. John H. Grant, pastor of Mt. Zion Missionary Baptist Church, told a crowd of roughly 250 people.