COVID-19

COVID-19

COVID-19 Defending Democracy Policy Watch Investigates Top Story

As new poll workers step up in pandemic, elections directors say they are ready for November

Even with an increase in absentee voting, election directors expect a large in-person turnout. Since March, when the COVID-19 pandemic began upending so many aspects of American life, elections directors across the state have worried about the impact on the November election.

Health concerns have led to an unprecedented number of absentee ballot requests. But a divisive presidential election and tumultuous political season could also lead to heavy in-person turnout. That’s a problem for the backbone of the election systems across the state: the more than 15,000 election workers, the majority of whom are older people for whom coronavirus infection is most dangerous.

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COVID-19 Original Commentary Progressive Voices Top Story

Congress must pass robust COVID relief; failure is not an option

There has never been a more urgent time for Congress to step up and pass a relief package that acknowledges the breadth and depth of the hardships that North Carolinians and millions across the country are facing. Last week, after months of stalled negotiations, the U.S. Senate put forth a COVID relief bill that cut in half what Senate leaders had agreed to spend as of early August. It was, in effect, an almost empty gesture toward the need for aid to address hunger, job losses, the risk of eviction, and more.

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COVID-19 News Top Story

Senate GOP emergency relief plan leaves out direct aid to state and local governments

WASHINGTON — Senate Republicans unveiled their latest coronavirus relief proposal Tuesday but were met with swift objections from Democrats. The GOP plan failed to include direct aid to cities and states, a priority for Democrats, or rental relief or nutrition assistance, and it appeared it wouldn’t go far enough to resolve a monthslong stalemate over providing additional emergency aid to Americans. The Senate plans a vote later this week.

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COVID-19 Progressive Voices Top Story

GOP COVID relief bill fails to help people in need — here’s how

In HB 1105, General Assembly leadership acknowledges that North Carolina families and communities face enormous hardships, but makes only token gestures to help people survive the COVID-19 pandemic North Carolina can and should allocate the remaining federal COVID-19 relief funds to meet the pre-existing needs that have been exacerbated by the pandemic.

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COVID-19 Progressive Voices Top Story

Duke researchers: We must protect meat packing workers to combat community spread of COVID-19

Early in the COVID-19 epidemic, urban centers like New York city led the nation in COVID-19 burden. Yet, even before shelter-in-place orders were expiring, many of the places with the most cases per capita were small cities and rural communities in the Midwest and South. By mid-May, counties with or near meat packing plants had almost twice the rate of known COVID-19 infections as the national average.

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COVID-19 Education Top Story

New polling data: COVID-19 taking a big toll on physical and emotional well-being of Latinos

Respondents in NC skeptical of Trump's leadership, in-person school reopening One in 10 Latino households have someone in the home who has contracted the coronavirus. More than half of the nation’s Latino families face job loss and income due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Eighty-five percent of Latino parents are worried about children contracting coronavirus if and when schools reopen for in-person instruction while 77% are concerned about their children falling behind academically if they don’t return to school.

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COVID-19 Progressive Voices Top Story

UNC reopening hampered by lack of diverse leadership

This is a difficult and painful time for students, staff and faculty at UNC-Chapel Hill as students move out of campus housing and quickly switch to remote instruction. To be sure, this is a constantly changing and very ...
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COVID-19 Higher Ed Policy Watch Investigates Top Story

As the largest UNC System schools move online, who is next and who decides?

While the largest schools within the UNC System have moved to online learning after widespread COVID-19 outbreaks, at smaller institutions, disagreements over reopening plans are fraying relations to the breaking point. Students, faculty and administrators are debating whether to go online now — and avoid the same fate as their larger counterparts — or try to make it through the semester unless the number of infections makes it impossible.

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COVID-19 Original Commentary Progressive Voices Top Story

Holden Thorp: Trump COVID-19 advisor spreads misinformation

In its latest attempt to confuse the public about the science of COVID-19, the Trump administration has added Dr. Scott Atlas to the team advising the president. Although Atlas may be capable of neurological imaging, he’s not an expert in infectious diseases or public health —and it shows. He’s spreading scientific misinformation in a clear attempt to placate the president and push his narrative that COVID-19 is not an emergency.

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COVID-19 Higher Ed News Top Story

Monday numbers: A closer look at rising COVID cases on NC college campuses

Over the weekend East Carolina University and UNC-Charlotte became the latest UNC System schools to move their undergraduate courses online in the face of COVID-19. UNC-Charlotte says it intends to resume in-person classes Oct. 1. It is the first UNC System school to move classes online before they have actually begun.

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COVID-19 Weekly Briefing

UNC’s top-down, one-size-fits-all reopening plan isn’t working

For many years prior to their ascent to power a decade ago, North Carolina Republican legislative leaders loved to lecture anyone in earshot about the need for “local control.” On subject after subject, it became almost a conservative mantra in the Legislative Building that state government should devolve as much autonomy as possible in local officials who, as the logic went, were closest to the people and knew best of their needs and desires.

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COVID-19 Higher Ed Policy Watch Investigates Top Story

As COVID clusters mount, university dashboards provide incomplete and outdated information

The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill is being rocked by a series of COVID-19 infection clusters  just one week after the start of classes. Four such clusters — defined by the state Department of Health and Human Services as five or more infections in a related area — have been identified in student housing since Friday.

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COVID-19 Original Commentary Progressive Voices Top Story

The reopening picture at this UNC campus is not a pretty one

As with the other UNC System campuses, students began to return to Appalachian State this week, and the circumstances surrounding their arrival ought to give all North Carolinians cause for concern. Despite an outbreak of COVID-19 cases on the Boone campus just last week, thousands of students from across the country moved in to either off-campus apartments or small, shared dorm rooms on campus.

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COVID-19 Top Story Weekly Briefing

Trump’s latest last-ditch con

History reminds us that it is a familiar pattern with autocrats and delusional politicians who perceive they could be facing the latter days of their time in power: as their influence ebbs, the grandiosity of their “orders” and “commands” tends to grow. And so it appears to be with Donald Trump as he confronts the growing possibility that he is entering the final few months of his presidency.

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COVID-19 Higher Ed Policy Watch Investigates Top Story

UNC-Chapel Hill leaders come under fire at emergency faculty meeting

Chancellor's failure to share health department reopening recommendations called a "breach of trust" The Orange County Health Director has urged the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill to move to online education for the fall semester and keep on-campus housing to an absolute minimum as the COVID-19 pandemic in the county worsens. The campus will be doing neither of those things, Chancellor Kevin Guskiewicz said Wednesday.

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