COVID-19

COVID-19

COVID-19 News Policy Watch Investigates Top Story

Legislatures across country back off pandemic protocols

Despite the explosive spread of the omicron variant, many statehouses are attempting to conduct business as usual As Dr. Jennifer Bacani McKenney walked the halls of the Kansas Statehouse on opening day of the legislative session this month, she was taken aback by what she saw. In the hallways, where "people are chatting and hugging and all that stuff, there were probably less than half of the people wearing masks...

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Congress COVID-19 News Top Story

Biden sends medical teams to 6 states, promises more free COVID tests and masks

As infection rates spike across the nation, the President takes emergency action WASHINGTON — President Joe Biden announced Thursday that the federal government will deploy military medical units to six states to assist hospitals overwhelmed with the recent spike of the omicron coronavirus variant. Starting next week, more than 120 medical personnel — the beginning of a deployment of 1,000 service members — will go to hospitals in New York, New Jersey, Ohio, Rhode Island, Michigan and New Mexico.

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COVID-19 Higher Ed News Top Story

At Appalachian State, students whipsawed over conflicting COVID-19 messages from faculty, administration

Students at Appalachian State University in Boone are getting conflicting messages from faculty and administrators as tensions over the university’s handling of COVID-19 in the spring semester boil over. In an open letter to students sent Sunday evening, Richard Rheingans, a professor in the Department of Sustainable Development, wrote the university is “failing to provide the leadership, guidance and support that students, faculty and the broader community needs.”

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COVID-19 Higher Ed News Policy Watch Investigates Top Story

COVID-19 infections could peak at 1,650 per day at UNC-Chapel Hill

Planning document written by UNC epidemiologists shows alarming numbers

UNC epidemiologists project there could be 1,400 to 2,900 positive COVID-19 tests within the first 30 days of classes at the Chapel Hill campus, according to a Jan. 4 brief obtained by Policy Watch.

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News Top Story

Year in review: North Carolina and COVID-19

This year started with the promise of new COVID-19 vaccines that could push North Carolina and the country beyond the pandemic. It ends with the rise of a new COVID-19 variant that once again has the state and the world on guard. COVID-19 cases spiked after last year’s Christmas holiday. Infections caused by the delta variant, which spread more easily than earlier ones, led to another surge this summer that filled hospital beds.

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Congress COVID-19 News Top Story

Biden pick to lead FDA fields questions over pharma ties, abortion pill, COVID tests

With support from Richard Burr, Duke University professor seeks to return to position he held during the Obama years WASHINGTON — President Joe Biden’s pick to lead the Food and Drug Administration drew praise from a top Senate Republican, as well as critical questions from conservatives and others during a Tuesday confirmation hearing.

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News Top Story

Fibs, fraud, and frustrations: North Carolina’s unemployment program draws more scrutiny

Claire Niver, a senior vice president with Pepsi Bottling Ventures, told legislators last week the global pandemic has had a “monumental impact” on the North Carolina-based company. Niver described in detail how the company hand-made 1,600 masks for frontline workers and created a partnership with Jim Beam so employees would have a ready supply of hand sanitizer when it was unavailable in most stores. "We had no layoffs and no furloughs. We are an essential business," Niver said proudly.

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Original Commentary Top Story

Friday Follies (parody): Having made mincemeat of UNC epidemiologist’s COVID-19 claims, GOP lawmakers prepare to debunk other nefarious myths and conspiracies

In the afterglow of their dazzling takedown of a so-called infectious disease expert earlier this week regarding the true nature of the so-called “COVID-19 pandemic,” North Carolina Republican legislators are expected to soon announce plans to debunk a variety of other myths propagated by meddlesome left-wing academics masquerading as unbiased researchers.

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News Top Story

What’s at stake in the hotly contested governor’s race north of the border

Issues familiar to North Carolinians are front and center in today's Virginia gubernatorial election Voters are headed to the polls today to elect the next governor of Virginia in a close race that has drawn significant national attention and that will likely have political implications for North Carolina — a neighboring state that is grappling with many similar policy debates.

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Education Top Story

After GOP backlash, school boards association “apologizes” for letter asking for federal help to address threats of violence

Memo expresses "regret" for seeking federal assistance but does not ask Justice Department to halt investigations WASHINGTON — The National School Boards Association is walking back its letter to President Joe Biden asking for federal help for school board members who have been harassed and threatened over masking requirements and discussions of race in public schools.

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News Top Story

PW exclusive: A conversation with the first Chief Equity Officer at NC DHHS

Victor Armstrong will lead the Cooper administration's efforts to address racial and ethnic health disparities laid newly bare by the pandemic The disproportionate impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on people of color has further exposed racial disparities and inequities in health care, which residents with chronic illnesses have confronted for years.

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COVID-19 Progressive Voices Top Story

Immunologist: Vaccination against COVID-19 supports a healthy pregnancy by protecting both mother and child

The CDC issued an urgent health advisory for those currently pregnant, planning a pregnancy or breastfeeding on Sept. 29, 2021. The statement reiterated the importance of vaccination in preventing severe illness and death resulting from COVID-19. It also highlighted the wide gap in vaccination rates with pregnant people who are less than half as likely to have been vaccinated than a member of the general public.

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COVID-19 Original Commentary Progressive Voices Top Story

Amid our fellow citizens’ foolish choices, how do we maintain our empathy?

A distant cousin of mine recently died of COVID-19. We had long ago lost touch when we both moved from our North Dakota hometown, me to Minnesota by way of stops in Florida and Georgia, and she to Texas, where she worked as a teacher, got married and raised a family for more than 30 years.

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