Buncombe COVID-19 case graph

Buncombe continues mask mandate amid record COVID spread

The Buncombe County Board of Commissioners members unanimously voted Jan. 4 to extend the county’s indoor mask mandate through Wednesday, Feb. 16. The extended mask requirement does not contain any language regarding enforcement, nor does it specify the type of face covering that residents should wear, despite health experts saying cloth masks are insufficient against the omicron variant of the coronavirus.

Asheville Police Department protest

Year in Review: Security felt elusive in 2021

When Xpress asked community members about safety and security in 2021, the questions were intentionally left very broad. After all, concepts like safety and risk can mean very different things to different people depending on their circumstances. Would respondents opine about public safety? Housing security? Financial security? Sexual assault? Homophobia? The resulting responses take the […]

Wellness in brief: Hospitals suspend COVID-19 vaccinatio­n requiremen­ts

Hospitals suspend COVID-19 vaccination requirements Earlier this month, AdventHealth Hendersonville, Pardee UNC Health Care and Mission Health suspended requirements that employees become fully vaccinated against COVID-19, as per a federal Centers for Medicaid and Medicare Services memorandum. CMS had issued an emergency regulation on Nov. 4 mandating that all eligible workers at Medicaid and Medicare-certified […]

Q&A with Joseph Jamison, United Way equity and network specialist

“One of the biggest challenges students face is a lack of voice in a lot of decision-making within our schools and the community at large,” Jamison explains. “For example, debates over masks or virtual over in-person learning. We’ve all heard a lot of loud adult voices at the table, but I think most people would be hard-pressed to recall a news clip or an article where they heard what students thought about those decisions.”

Lori Garcia-McCammon

Local nonprofit workers discuss pandemic burnout

As the executive director of True Ridge, a Hendersonville-based nonprofit serving Western North Carolina’s Hispanic population, Lori Garcia-McCammon has never had an easy job. Her organization helps survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault and refers clients to bilingual mental health counselors. Recent years have been straining, as many of the Central American immigrants her […]