COVID-19

COVID-19

COVID-19 News Top Story

Monday numbers: A closer look at what federal relief could mean to North Carolina workers

[Editor's note: This post has been updated to provide additional information regarding the eligibility of Social Security recipients for stimulus checks.] Some money is better than no money, but $1,200 doesn't go as far as some think it might: A month's rent, maybe. Less than a month's worth of child care for two kids. About two weeks' worth of groceries for a family of four. The $2 trillion bailout package, which includes help for major corporations, as well as small businesses, includes a one-time $1,200 payment for taxpayers.

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COVID-19 Progressive Voices Top Story

COVID-19 pandemic makes clear it’s time to rewrite some basic rules

As we all confront the ripple effects of the an unprecedented pandemic throughout North Carolina, we should pause to acknowledge the fundamental lesson that our fates are intertwined. And we should not let this moment pass by without demanding that public leaders put people and communities first as they craft solutions to our public health and economic realities.

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COVID-19 Law and the Courts News Top Story

Health pandemic leads to numerous reports of price gouging across NC

Just three days after Gov. Roy Cooper declared a state of emergency in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Joannie Valencia paid $42.90 for two bottles of 70% isopropyl alcohol at a mom and pop pharmacy in Charlotte. She was in a panic; she had kids at home and had driven all over the city looking for any kind of disinfectants to keep her family safe, but her search had been futile. She knew the price was high, but she paid it. When in stock, the same 32-ounce bottles of rubbing alcohol cost $1.99 a piece at Target and $2.39 at CVS.

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COVID-19 Environment News Top Story

As growing season commences, health pandemic raises big concerns for NC ag industry, farmworkers

The fields, rested over the winter and moistened by recent rains, are waiting and ready. Thousands of farmworkers, many on H2A visas from Mexico, have begun to arrive by bus, shoulder to shoulder, 40 at a time, to eastern North Carolina, like they do every year, to take on the backbreaking jobs that few other people want to do.

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COVID-19 News Top Story

Burr asks colleagues to police his ethics. Will anything come of it?

WASHINGTON — Sen. Richard Burr (R-N.C.), who’s facing a political firestorm for selling off stocks ahead of the COVID-19 pandemic, has asked for a Senate ethics investigation into his actions.  The Senate Select Committee on Ethics operates largely in secret, dismisses the vast majority of allegations it receives and involves senators policing their own colleagues. The public usually doesn’t know which complaints are before the panel or how they’re resolved. 

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COVID-19 Education Top Story

The ‘new normal’: With schools closed, Durham educators focus on feeding students, families

The weather was unkind Monday, the first day Durham Public Schools offered lunches to thousands of students forced to stay home due to COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus. Temperatures dipped into the mid-40s after a mild weekend, and a cold rain was heaviest between 10:30 a.m., and noon, when meals and educational materials are offered to families across the district.

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COVID-19 News Top Story

As testing ramps up, state officials scramble to acquire medical supplies, address economic fallout

Semi-trucks carrying medical supplies from the Strategic National Stockpile rolled up to a Durham warehouse early this morning, as state leaders try to fill at least 2,000 requests for resources to cope with the COVID-19 pandemic. The State of North Carolina has ordered $46 million worth of medical supplies, said Mike Sprayberry, state director of Emergency Management, during an emergency Council of State meeting conducted today by telephone.

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COVID-19 Progressive Voices Top Story

We must act now to prevent an epidemic in North Carolina’s prisons and jails

What will happen when COVID-19 reaches our local jails and prisons in North Carolina? Without a change to state policy, we fear the worst. Many facilities are already overcrowded and have inadequate living conditions. But with the new ...
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COVID-19 Law and the Courts Top Story

Special PW update: North Carolina sheriffs are continuing to carry out evictions during pandemic

Should North Carolina sheriffs be evicting people during the COVID-19 pandemic and thereby place the public health at further risk? That's a question that's front and center in the state public policy debate this weekend. Advocates say that people evicted from their homes could end up on the street, doubling or tripling up in crowded homes with family or friends or congregating with crowds at homeless shelters. It doesn’t bode well, they point out, for the larger social distancing directive and other recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to protect the public from the disease caused by the new coronavirus.

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COVID-19 Law and the Courts Top Story

Left behind: Immigrant communities try to navigate COVID-19 with language barriers, lack of resources

On the day Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) announced it would limit enforcement action amid COVID-19 concerns, agents threatened to break a man’s truck window in a Cary parking lot to take him into custody. Mariano Rosario-Rios and his daughter locked themselves in their truck Wednesday morning and called Siembra NC’s 24-hour ICE detention hotline for help while agents surrounded them and ordered they get out of the truck. They were in a shopping center parking lot.

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COVID-19 News Top Story

With social distancing the name of the game, NC faith leaders find new ways to reach their flocks

Like most people, Rabbi Fred Guttman has spent the last week adjusting to a strange new life, one upended by COVID-19, the illness caused by the new coronavirus. Accustomed to a full crowd at Greensboro’s Temple Emanuel each Friday and Saturday, Guttman has converted both adult and youth religious services to online-only meetings conducted over the video-conferencing app Zoom. He has also organized a regular virtual lunch on Wednesdays for the elderly members of his community that he calls “a schmooze with the Rabbi.”

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COVID-19 Environment News Top Story

As NC restrictions grow to fight a pandemic, many local farmers’ markets left in limbo

Durham city and county officials have forced the popular Durham Farmers Market in Central Park to close in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, jeopardizing small farmers’ livelihoods just as the spring season begins. The Southern Durham Farmers Market on NC Highway 55 is also in limbo. The Durham Roots Farmers Market on West Main Street is not scheduled to open until April.

The Southern Durham Farmers Market on NC Highway 55 is also in limbo. The Durham Roots Farmers Market on West Main Street is not scheduled to open until April. Other markets at Duke University and UNC Chapel Hill, where students have been sent home for the semester, and in Hillsborough have also closed.

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COVID-19 Policy Watch Investigates Top Story

PW exclusive: What it’s like to get tested, wait, worry and adjust to the new normal of a COVID-19 world

“I’m not going to lie to you,” my doctor told me last week. “This is going to be unpleasant.” She then pulled the longest medical swab I’d ever seen from its sanitary seal, explaining she would need to insert it deep into my nasal passage, very nearly into my throat, to get a proper sample.

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