AdventHealth has been approved to build a new hospital in Western North Carolina, the company announced on Facebook Nov. 22. Buncombe, Graham, Madison and Yancey counties will together have a projected need of 67 additional acute care beds by 2024, according to a plan published by the N.C. Department of Health and Human Services Division of Health […]
North Carolina has 53 cases of monkeypox as of July 29, according to a dashboard on the NCDHHS website. There have been no reported deaths from monkeypox in the U.S.
As outlined in an April 5 presentation to the Board of Commissioners by Tim Love, Buncombe’s director of economic development and governmental relations, the county is exploring a nearly $221,000 contract with the school’s Development Finance Initiative.
At the Buncombe County Board of Commissioners meeting of Tuesday, March 1, members will be asked to approve a $1.25 million increase to the county’s contract with Georgia-based AstroTurf for designing and installing artificial turf fields at the Buncombe County Sports Park.
Commissioner Jasmine Beach-Ferrara, who chairs the county board’s Early Childhood and Development Committee, outlined a plan for $7.5 million in additional spending on pre-K expansion over the next two years. Funding would come from the county’s roughly $27 million in remaining federal American Rescue Plan Act money.
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.
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 […]
Some attendees posed questions such as “How can we see a full list of the ingredients used in this vaccine?” Others offered comments such as “This is child genocide!” and “Time to get a red pill about what’s really going on before too many dead kids are on your karma.”
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.
While the Buncombe County Board of Commissioners did not make a formal commitment to any plan for the 137-acre site, several members expressed a desire for denser development focused on housing.
The requirement covers all “business establishments, offices and workplaces, public transportation facilities and vehicles, and any indoor place the public is invited or allowed to enter and gather,” with the exception of weddings, funerals, religious gatherings and “other activities constituting the exercise of First Amendment rights.”
Currently, Buncombe recommends indoor masking as a response to COVID-19 but has instituted no legal mandate. The city of Asheville also plans to reinstate a similar requirement, while rules in other county municipalities would be left to their governing bodies.
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.
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.
A year has passed since Buncombe County recorded its first Covid-19 death on March 28, 2020. Since then, another 293 people have died. In the official government record, they’ll be remembered as statistics of a pandemic that killed swiftly and indiscriminately, but to their families, friends and neighbors, they were so much more.
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.
New policies from the N.C. Department of Health and Human Services and the N.C. Department of Public Instruction recommend all elementary schools open for in-person learning under Plan A, which does not require 6-foot social distancing between students and teachers. Middle and high schools are encouraged to reopen in-person under Plan B, which requires 6-foot social distancing at all times.
“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.”
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.
“We recognize that it’s not a perfect system and the demand is quite high,” said Stacie Saunders, Buncombe County’s public health director, at a Jan. 12 special meeting called to address local vaccination efforts. “We just want to reiterate that we will not have sufficient supply of vaccine for a very long time, so it is likely that we will still hear frustration and concerns about being able to get an appointment.”
Of the 1,675 doses of COVID-19 vaccine Buncombe County had been allotted by North Carolina state officials through Dec. 28, the county had given just over 1,000 doses through Jan. 4. Only health care workers, first responders and long-term care facility residents will be able to receive the shot until Monday, Jan. 11.