A new era in Buncombe County leadership begins Monday, Dec. 5. That’s the day newly elected District 2 Commissioner Martin Moore will take his oath of office and replace incumbent Republican Robert Pressley, making the county Board of Commissioners an entirely Democratic body.
Many Western North Carolina residents who spoke with Xpress say they shared their negative responses after COVID-19 vaccination with health providers. But they also say their concerns have been minimized or ignored, driving a lack of trust about the vaccines and the broader medical establishment.
Xpress has identified at least seven local K-12 institutions that are not requiring all students to wear masks as recommended by the N.C. Department of Health and Human Services StrongSchoolsNC toolkit and county public health leaders. Some have rejected other coronavirus measures as well, including isolating individuals with COVID-19 and recommending vaccinations.
Lawsuit alleges Mission Health monopoly Six residents of Western North Carolina filed a class-action lawsuit against HCA Healthcare and Mission Health System on Aug. 10, alleging restraint of trade and unlawful monopolization. The plaintiffs say they have paid higher health insurance premiums, copays and deductibles than have residents of surrounding areas due to Mission’s ability […]
MAHEC sees uptick in antibody infusion treatments The Asheville-based Mountain Area Health Education Center has experienced an increase in patients receiving antibody infusion treatments — the antibody cocktail called REGEN-COV — in recent weeks. During the week of July 19, the center’s infusion team served 21 people, says Keelan Dorn, a family medicine nurse practitioner […]
The recommendation aligns with the guidance of the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which called for universal indoor masking “in areas of substantial or high transmission” on July 27.
At its meeting of Tuesday, Aug. 3, the county Board of Commissioners will vote on a more than $665,000 budget amendment to support regional vaccination efforts. The money includes a new allocation of $75,000 from the N.C. Department of Health and Human Services, as well as over $590,000 in unspent funds from last fiscal year.
Projected capital investment costs for implementing the library plan total at least $81 million over the next 15 years, including nearly $18 million for a new 25,000-square-foot facility in Enka/Candler and over $16 million for a new building of the same size in West Asheville.
“On Feb. 16, Buncombe County commissioners decided that political considerations were more important than science-based plans for COVID-19 vaccinations.”
The Buncombe County Board of Commissioners directed health staff to set aside 975 vaccine doses per week — half of the weekly 1,950 doses that North Carolina has been sending the county — for school employees starting Wednesday, Feb. 24.
“But your efforts — coupled with a continuing commitment by everyone else to mask up, wash up and keep themselves and others safe — will hopefully turn the tide.”
“Our biggest problem right now is that millions of people want a shot, but we only have hundreds of thousands of doses,” said Gov. Roy Cooper at a Jan. 27 press conference. “There will be a time when everyone can get one, and we want to make sure everyone can access it as quickly as possible.”
Retired Rear Adm. Richard Houck of Transylvania County, attorney Fred Jones of Macon County and Bishop José McLoughlin of Henderson County will join the board of Western North Carolina’s largest nonprofit as Buncombe County’s Dr. John Ball departs. The change fulfills requirements stipulated in N.C. Attorney General Josh Stein’s approval of Mission Health’s sale to HCA Healthcare.
COVID-19 vaccination initiatives announced by the county include a drive-thru site for second doses at A. C. Reynolds High School and a waitlist for first-dose vaccination appointments. The waitlist will replace a system that requires residents to schedule appointments directly as vaccines became available.