COVID-19

COVID-19

COVID-19 News Policy Watch Investigates Top Story

As vaccination rates decline, DHHS and health care providers trying to reach rural, underserved communities

The total number of vaccinations dropped by 23% over one week in April, an indication that North Carolina still faces challenges in achieving its vaccination goals. Now the state Department of Health and Human Services wants to direct vaccination efforts toward neighborhoods where few people have gotten shots.

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COVID-19 Policy Watch Investigates Top Story

PW special report: Restaurants that opened in early 2020 excluded from key COVID relief program

When Tal Blevins first heard about the Restaurant Revitalization Fund, he hoped it would be the sort of help that he and his fellow restaurant owners had been anticipating for more than a year.

But it didn’t take Blevins long to realize someone hadn’t accounted for the real costs of opening a restaurant. When he analyzed the conditions of the revitalization fund, which was within the larger $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan Act, it quickly became apparent it wouldn’t significantly help his Greensboro restaurant, Machete.

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COVID-19 Higher Ed News Top Story

Pushback against ‘vaccine passports’ puts colleges in a quandary

WASHINGTON — Florida’s Nova Southeastern University joined a small group of U.S. colleges on April 1, when the private research university announced that it would require all students, faculty and staff to be vaccinated against COVID-19 before returning to campus this fall.

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COVID-19 Law and the Courts News Top Story

As landlords find loopholes to evict tenants, a concurrent push for gentrification in communities of color

The red Honda parked on Debee Anderson's lawn saved her and her daughter's life when they fled Hurricane Florence in September 2018. Anderson was picking up medication for her daughter and about to return to her Spring Lake home when a state trooper told her she couldn't, because of river flooding.

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Law and the Courts News Top Story

Renters facing eviction must navigate a legal labyrinth that favors lawyers and landlords

A morning in evictions court: 123 cases, residents of 31 households on the verge of homelessness On the brisk Monday morning of March 29, Magistrate William Glascoff in the Forsyth County small claims court handed down one eviction judgment after another. Residents of 31 households lost their homes.

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COVID-19 Law and the Courts News Top Story

House of cards: Despite a federal stay on evictions, landlords are ousting their tenants

Legal loopholes in the moratorium fail to protect some renters Kerston Rankins put all her plans and belongings for a better life in boxes when she moved to Winston-Salem. Five chests of clothes, three cases of DVDs and several other keepsakes, which she and her husband loaded in the car and drove up from Statesville.

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COVID-19 Education News Top Story

Decision to reopen schools forces resignation of popular Durham teacher who’d been teaching from overseas

Supporters' pleas for school district to allow Jordan High chorus teacher to continue virtual instruction prove unsuccessful     Late last year, Corrine Huber gambled big when she decided to accompany her husband to Denmark for his work.  At the time, it seemed like a safe bet for the Durham Public Schools’ chorus teacher. The Board of Education had implemented remote learning for the rest of the school year.

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News Top Story

Monday numbers: A sobering look at the hate crimes that have targeted Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders

Spat upon, assaulted, harassed: The pandemic helps spawn an epidemic of hatred and violence During the first nine months of pandemic, when former President Donald Trump chose to inaccurately call the coronavirus the "China virus," he fomented, if not tacitly sanctioned animosity and discrimination toward people of Asian descent.

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News Policy Watch Investigates Top Story

COVID infections and deaths shine a light of NC’s lax workplace safety oversight

When COVID-19 hit North Carolina in 2020, complaints about the safety of workers flooded the state agency charged with their protection. Yet, state Department of Labor officials didn’t have enforceable standards to widely issue citations and conduct inspections and then-Labor Commissioner Cherie Berry determined that no new standards for COVID were needed.

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COVID-19 News Top Story

Congress clears giant $1.9T emergency relief package for Biden’s signature

Nearly $9 billion in direct aid headed for North Carolina WASHINGTON — A sweeping $1.9 trillion coronavirus stimulus package is headed to President Joe Biden’s desk after the U.S. House passed the latest pandemic relief measure Wednesday on a party-line vote.

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COVID-19 News Top Story

States fail to prioritize homeless people for vaccines

North Carolina is among several states facing criticism Frank Galloway falls into the most vulnerable categories for COVID-19: He is 87, he is Black, and he is experiencing homelessness. “It ain’t no joke,” Galloway said of the coronavirus, which has killed some of his friends in Greensboro, North Carolina. “I don't mind taking something that will help my life to keep going.”

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COVID-19 Education News Top Story

School buildings: Essential learning centers or pandemic Petri dishes? Many Black parents feel conflicted.

Legislation would require public schools to reopen, worrying Black parents about sending their kids back during a pandemic. They also fear their kids will fall behind academically without in-person instruction. Geraldine Alshamy is well-versed in the science that says schools aren’t big spreaders of the coronavirus, if districts follow state and federal health guidance. 

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Top Story Weekly Briefing

Disaster in Texas is a reminder of the greatest threat to our freedom

Americans have always been, in many respects, an optimistic and forward-looking people. Ours, happily, is not a nation overly obsessed with settling old international scores and grudges or constantly addressing perceived slights from past adversaries. One flip side to this admirable tendency, however, is what frequently amounts to a short collective memory.

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News Top Story

For Black, Latinx, Native American residents, community connections are key to COVID-19 vaccination success 

Shirley Hill rolled up her right sleeve for a COVID-19 vaccination Wednesday when doses were ready for her and 49 others at the Temple of Praise church in Kenly. Hill, 75, had been trying to get a vaccine appointment closer to her home in Goldsboro, but couldn’t even get on a waiting list. 

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