As “congregate living settings,” migrant farmworker camps have been listed as high-risk locations for virus transmission — not just by counties throughout Western North Carolina, but by state health officials and the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
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.
Four nursing homes and long-term care facilities in Buncombe County are now experiencing COVID-19 outbreaks, announced Dr. Jennifer Mullendore, the county’s interim health director, at a May 18 press conference. The county has not yet disclosed the names of two of the facilities reporting outbreaks.
County officials said Aston Park Health Care Center and Deerfield Retirement Episcopal Skilled Nursing Home both had active outbreaks of the disease, defined by the N.C. Department of Health and Human Services as two or more lab-confirmed cases in staff or residents. They did not share the specific number of cases reported for each outbreak.
Investigative reporters reviewed thousands of death certificates statewide to reveal a complicated picture of who is dying from illness related to the COVID-19 pandemic.
N.C. Governor Roy Cooper and state Health Director Dr. Betsey Tilson met with WNC health officials and elected leaders on the afternoon of March 10 to discuss the state’s response to the virus that causes COVID-19, new recommendations for high-risk individuals and a state emergency declaration.
While 12.7 African American babies die during the first year of life per 1,000 live births on average in North Carolina, that number is 19.6 per 1,000 in Buncombe County. Moreover, the county’s rate has doubled since 2012, when it was 9.8 per 1,000.
Nearly 11,700 children are in foster care in North Carolina. Eliada Homes, which has long placed and supported children in foster families, recently added adoption services to its offerings, hoping to encourage more parents to consider fostering to adopt.