Daily dose

Friday News: The wrong list

bluenccup-1[1]_0.jpg

NC HAS THE SECOND LARGEST UNEMPLOYMENT CRISIS IN THE NATION: More than 350,000 North Carolinians have filed for unemployment since mid-March, state officials said in a daily update Thursday. That’s when businesses starting closing down due to local and statewide orders to try to stem the tide of COVID-19. And those 350,000 people don’t include those who have lost their jobs but haven’t filed for unemployment. There have been numerous reports of problems with the website and phone lines at the state’s unemployment office, which has been swamped by the record job losses, the News & Observer has reported. “North Carolina has the second biggest increase in unemployment due to coronavirus,” WalletHub said, explaining that when taking both numbers into account for all 50 states, only Louisiana has been hit harder.
https://www.newsobserver.com/news/coronavirus/article241724831.html

Thursday News: She's not wrong, you know

REP. ALMA ADAMS SAYS PANDEMIC RESPONSE WOULD BE BETTER WITHOUT TRUMP: “I’m getting to the age where I don’t have time to mince words: If the Senate had removed President Trump in January, I believe our country’s response would have been swifter, more competent, and would have saved lives. President Trump has demonstrated that he’s incapable of leading the country during a crisis, and his inaction has cost lives,” Adams, 73, said in an emailed response to a series of emailed questions about the coronavirus and Congress’ response. Trump enjoyed a bounce in the polls for his response, which include daily on-camera press conferences from the White House. Several surveys showed more Americans approved than disapproved of his handling. However, a Wednesday poll from Politico/Morning Consult had some poor numbers for Trump. The poll found that 61% of registered voters think Trump was not prepared for the outbreak. The poll found 47% percent of voters feel the administration is not doing enough compared to 40% who think it is.
https://www.newsobserver.com/news/politics-government/article241682686.html

Wednesday News: Environmental protections

cooperfrown.jpg

GOVERNOR COOPER ISSUES 60-DAY FREEZE OF UTILITY DISCONNECTS: Cases of coronavirus topped 1,500 in North Carolina on Tuesday, as residents hunkered down under statewide stay-at-home restrictions and Gov. Roy Cooper signed an executive order prohibiting utility companies from shutting off service to people who are unable to pay. “Today’s action orders that electric, gas, water and wastewater services can’t be shut off for the next 60 days,” Cooper said in an afternoon news conference, adding that telecom companies that provide phone, cable and internet services are “strongly urged to follow these same rules.” The order also encourages banks not to charge customers for overdraft fees, late fees and other penalties for the next 60 days, while landlords are “strongly encouraged to follow the spirit of” an order previously enacted by Chief Justice Cheri Beasley, which delays evictions already in the court system.
https://www.newsobserver.com/news/coronavirus/article241610361.html

Tuesday News: Essential Fetish

gunbuyer.jpg

WAKE COUNTY DECIDES TO REOPEN GUN SHOPS AFTER THREAT OF LAWSUIT: Wake County is reversing its stance on whether gun stores can remain open during the coronavirus pandemic. But Wake County Commissioner Chair Greg Ford said the county is not changing its stay-at-home order because gun advocacy groups complained about it. "These are routine updates as circumstances change,” he said. Paul Valone, president of gun rights organization Grass Roots North Carolina, previously told The News & Observer that gun stores sell things people need to protect their families and homes. GRNC and Gun Owners of America (GOA) sent a letter to Ford and Wake County threatening legal action if gun shops were not listed as essential businesses. “I think they are denying people the ability to protect themselves,” Valone said.
https://www.newsobserver.com/news/coronavirus/article241626921.html

Monday News: State of the State

coronavirus.jpg

YOUNGER PEOPLE MAKE UP THE BULK OF NC'S COVID 19 CASES: North Carolina has at least 1,186 reported cases of coronavirus as of Monday morning, according to state and county health departments. The majority of cases are people between the ages of 25 and 49 years old. At least 78 of the state’s 100 counties now have at least one reported case of the virus. Nearly 19,000 people have been tested in the state, according to the N.C. Department of Health and Human Services. Mecklenburg County has the most reported cases in North Carolina, with 336. Wake County has 146 reported cases, and Durham County has 107. As of Sunday, 91 people in the state were in the hospital with COVID-19, health officials said.
https://www.newsobserver.com/news/coronavirus/article241606656.html

Sunday News: From the Editorial pages

editorialprinting.jpg

COPING WITH COVID 19 REVEALS SERIOUS BROADBAND GAPS: But that absence of connection isn’t just about fiber. A notable portion of the state’s offline households are also in urban areas, cut off not by distance but by cost. More than 40% of North Carolina households where broadband is available don’t subscribe. Infrastructure isn’t helpful if you can’t afford to use it. “That’s an equity issue,” said Roberto Gallardo of the Purdue Center for Regional Development, speaking at last month’s Forum. “We’re leaving people behind through no fault of their own.” We’re also slowing the rollout of medical technologies that could be especially valuable in moments like this. Kim Schwartz, the CEO of the Roanoke Chowan Community Health Center, spoke at the forum about remote health monitoring that her center uses to track patients with chronic conditions. It allows doctors and nurses to see potential issues in real time, making it possible for them to intervene before a patient has to visit the office. As we all learn the phrase “self-quarantine at home,” that kind of distance monitoring is likely to prove valuable. Unfortunately, it only works for people with good internet and the ability to pay for it, and that leaves out many North Carolinians.
https://www.wral.com/coronavirus/leslie-boney-coping-with-covid-19-reveals-serious-broadband-gaps/19...

Saturday News: Stay at home

GOVERNOR COOPER TIGHTENS RESTRICTIONS DURING PANDEMIC: Gatherings of more than 10 people are prohibited, although that limit doesn't apply to shopping centers, medical facilities and airports. Up to 50 people are allowed at funerals. People can go out to buy groceries, pick up prescriptions, visit a health care provider, exercise, care for family members, volunteer to serve the needy or visit a place of worship. "Essential" businesses that can continue to operate include health care providers, supermarkets, pharmacies, gas stations, law enforcement, utilities, maintenance workers, human services organizations, farms and other food and beverage producers, banks and insurers, shipping, transportation, hotels, mortuaries and professional services, such as lawyers and accountants. Restaurants can continue to provide drive-thru, takeout and delivery services. Pet supply stores, electronics stores, lawn and garden shops, liquor stores and bookstores that sell education materials also can remain open.
https://www.wral.com/coronavirus/nc-governor-issues-statewide-stay-at-home-order/19032199/

Friday News: On the front lines

bluenccup-1[1]_0.jpg

AFTER DEATH OF MANAGER, RALEIGH SANITATION WORKERS SEEK BETTER PROTECTIONS: Union representatives sent a letter to city leaders on March 17 asking for more worker protections and for the city to issue a state of emergency. Two days later, Raleigh City Manager Ruffin Hall wrote that the city had since declared a state of emergency and was making strides to protect workers. The union’s suggestions would be included in the city’s response to the coronavirus outbreak. After Grubbs’ death, union leaders sent a second letter to the mayor and city manager. “We believe that if the city had acted swiftly based on the concerns we raised in our March 17 letter, that some of the current safety issues and anxiety from workers could have been avoided,” it said. In a news release, the union said sanitation trucks aren’t being cleaned on a regular basis; workers are violating social distancing by being on one truck; they are only getting two pairs of gloves per week; and there is a lack of “adequate hazard pay.”
https://www.newsobserver.com/news/coronavirus/article241549076.html

Thursday News: Can't wait a month

coronavirus.jpg

LAWMAKERS LIKELY TO CALL SPECIAL SESSION FOR COVID 19 RELIEF: A draft bill filed Wednesday would finalize some temporary changes already made administratively by Gov. Roy Cooper in the areas of jobless benefits and tax deadlines. But other changes have to be made by lawmakers, and leaders of the Economic Support working group that met Wednesday signaled they may push for a special session soon. Legislative leaders have said for days the state needs to wait to see what the federal government does before taking action and that no response bill is likely before the regular session resumes. However, Rep. Julia Howard, R-Davie, said some changes may need to be made immediately. Howard said the most urgent need is to ease the strain on the unemployment filing system as it processes a record number of claims – more than 166,000 thousand since in March 16, far exceeding previous records set in 2009. Allowing employers to file claims on behalf of all of their employees would dramatically reduce the flood of applications, speeding up claim processing for everyone, she said.
https://www.wral.com/coronavirus/lawmakers-could-hold-special-session-for-virus-response/19028513/

Wednesday News: The bottom line

RESTRICTIONS ON ELECTIVE SURGERY FINANCIALLY SQUEEZE RURAL HOSPITALS: Preparing for coronavirus patients is increasing the financial strain on rural hospitals, some already struggling to stay open. Many smaller rural hospitals in North Carolina mirror their larger, metro-area counterparts in preparing for coronavirus patients: making plans to add ICU beds, examining staffing requirements, and preserving gloves, masks and gowns. But the official government request to restrict elective surgeries during the pandemic could add to rural hospitals’ financial pain, said Dr. Roxie Wells, president of Hoke Healthcare. “Immediate funding is needed given the request from [the N.C. Department of Health and Human Services] to suspend elective surgeries,” she said in an email Tuesday. “In many instances, a rural hospital’s bottom line is inextricably tied to the ability to perform elective surgeries.” Pressures of responding to the pandemic could force more rural hospitals to close, she wrote.
https://www.newsobserver.com/news/coronavirus/article241462756.html

Pages

Subscribe to RSS - Daily dose