Novant Health, UNC Health, UNC School of Medicine announce agreement to partner across North Carolina

Novant Health, UNC Health and UNC School of Medicine have reached an agreement to expand medical education, research and clinical services to Novant Health facilities and other locations across North Carolina.

This partnership will expand the recently approved relationship between these organizations in New Hanover County to include Mecklenburg, Forsyth and other counties, with an additional focus to find innovative solutions to enhance care in rural areas.

The partnership will begin with locating a UNC School of Medicine branch campus at Novant Health Presbyterian Medical Center in Charlotte and will enhance and serve as an important training site for learners. It also gives more students access to learn at the best medical school for primary care in the country, according to U.S. News & World Report, and will expand the pipeline for high-quality physicians available to serve North Carolinians. In addition, the expansion of UNC School of Medicine’s Kenan Primary Care Medical Scholars Program will train more students to work in rural and under-resourced communities with enhanced training for care in those communities across North Carolina.

Additionally, clinical trials and studies from UNC School of Medicine’s world-renowned researchers will provide new treatment options for patients in Novant Health facilities.

Collaboration on population health has the potential to make a tremendous impact on the health of North Carolina. Together, through advanced analytics and proven population health strategies, more data will allow these partners to address community health challenges, such as COVID-19, opioid addiction, social determinants of health and health equity, to name a few.

“I am pleased that Forsyth and Mecklenburg counties, and the surrounding communities, will benefit from a collaboration between Novant Health and UNC Health and School of Medicine,” said Carl S. Armato, Novant Health president and CEO. “Our organizations are culturally aligned and committed to delivering safe, high-quality and affordable care while improving health equity in the communities we serve. This alignment allows us to expand access to medical education and clinical research across the state.”

“I am excited for the opportunities ahead for Novant Health, UNC Health and UNC School of Medicine to build a healthier North Carolina and to train more physicians for North Carolina,” said Dr. Wesley Burks, CEO of UNC Health and dean of UNC School of Medicine. “Our partnership will impact health in North Carolina for decades to come.”

More details will be announced as the partnership is finalized.

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Latest information and helpful resources as coronavirus impacts North Carolina

Here you can get the latest information on the coronavirus, or COVID-19, in North Carolina and surrounding region, and resources to be prepared and keep your family safe.



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What’s New — Week of Oct. 25:

  • More than 9.0 million people in the country have been infected with the virus and more than 230,000 people have died, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.
  • The latest surge of COVID-19 infections has brought the seven-day average of new daily cases to heights not seen since the pandemic began. The seven-day average of new cases hit 68,767 on Sunday, topping the previous peak of 67,293 reported on July 22. The two highest single days of new cases were Friday and Saturday, with more than 83,000 new cases added each day.
  • The economic fallout of the COVID-19 pandemic is driving up food insecurity across America. 54 million Americans are going hungry. Here is how you can get help if you are facing food insecurity today.
  • Immunity to COVID-19 infection lingers for at least five months, researchers reported — and probably longer than that.
  • As voters get ready to head to the polls on Election Day, many will do something they have never done before: put on a mask to go vote. Here are coronavirus guidelines for in-person voting.
  • Gov. Roy Cooper issued Executive Order No. 171 Wednesday to strengthen eviction protections and keep more North Carolinians in their homes.
  • Millions of Americans who have lost health insurance in an economy shaken by the coronavirus can sign up for taxpayer-subsidized coverage starting Sunday.

North Carolina Numbers:

The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services has not updated its coronavirus numbers for Friday because of a technical delay, it reported. It is working to provide an update as soon as possible, which is when this article will be updated.

  • There have been 274,635 cases and 4,378 deaths in the state as of Saturday
  • There are currently 1,184 people hospitalized
  • The state has completed 4,043,698 tests
  • 6.1% of tests returned positive, with 2,805 new cases reported Saturday
    • Dr. Mandy Cohen, secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services, said the goal for this benchmark is 5%.

Piedmont Triad County Numbers:

  • Alamance County has 5,511 positive cases, 89 deaths
  • Alleghany County has 311 positive cases, 2 deaths
  • Caswell County has 640 positive cases, 5 deaths
  • Davidson County has 3,836 positive cases, 44 deaths
  • Davie County has 786 positive cases, 11 deaths
  • Forsyth County has 9,121 positive cases, 121 deaths
  • Guilford County has 11,877 positive cases, 210 deaths
  • Montgomery County has 1,208 positive cases, 40 deaths
  • Randolph County has 3,921 positive cases, 64 deaths
  • Rockingham County has 2,125 positive cases, 26 deaths
  • Stokes County has 710 positive cases, 12 deaths
  • Surry County has 1,961 positive cases, 33 deaths
  • Wilkes County has 1,846 positive cases, 38 deaths
  • Yadkin County has 1,084 positive cases,
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2 people who attended Trump’s rally in North Carolina have tested positive for coronavirus

The Gaston County Health & Human Services Department said in a statement Thursday that there have been two positive Covid-19 cases “involving individuals attending the recent campaign rally in Gastonia.”

The department stressed that the cases are “not thought to be an indication of spread from the rally at this time, but rather two independent cases among individuals who were in attendance.” The event took place at Gaston Municipal Airport on October 21.

Trump rallied last Wednesday in the Charlotte suburb, where he told attendees the pandemic was “rounding the corner.” Trump was due to return on Thursday but postponed that rally citing “gusts reaching 50 miles per hour and other weather conditions,” according to an email sent by his campaign.

Health officials said that due to the number in attendance last week they are unable to properly contact trace those who may have been exposed.

“Because of the large number of potential contacts from the rally, and the inability to alert them directly, the community is being notified so they can assess their own risk and take appropriate actions,” the health department statement said. “Anyone who was in attendance at the rally is encouraged to monitor their symptoms and seek testing if needed.”

One of the people who tested positive, a reporter who covered the rally for a local TV station, confirmed his positive test on Twitter.

“Full disclosure: I’m one of the two people who tested positive after covering Pres. Trump’s Gastonia rally. Thankfully, I feel okay though I’m quarantining per county guidelines,” Brandon Goldner, a reporter with WCNC Charlotte, wrote on Twitter.

Goldner said that he has contacted everyone who he “interviewed or interacted with” before the positive test result, and that he was wearing a mask at the entire rally, but “Secret Service protocols” occasionally made social distancing not possible.

WCNC Charlotte confirmed the positive test in a statement on its website.

CNN reached out to the Secret Service for comment.

When reached by CNN, the Trump campaign pointed to the county health department’s statement.

Cases on the rise

North Carolina is seeing high case counts and hospitalizations from Covid-19 as the virus continues spreading throughout the state, Gov. Roy Cooper, a Democrat, said Wednesday.

The state has seen nearly 270,000 cases of Covid-19 resulting in 4,283 deaths, according to Johns Hopkins University’s tally of cases in the United States.

Cooper said the state continues to monitor hospitalizations, adding, “We have plenty of hospital capacity, plenty of ICU capacity, plenty of labor capacity, but you are concerned when you see it creep up, and (Dr. Mandy Cohen, secretary of the state health department) continues to be concerned about some smaller hospitals that are already feeling a little bit of the pinch here.”

Contact tracers are finding that many Covid-19 cases come from smaller gatherings of extended family and friends, youth group outings, family meals or church, Cooper said.

“We too often let our guard down when we are with people we know and trust. But

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North Carolina Gov. Cooper signs order preventing evictions

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper signed an executive order Wednesday preventing landlords from evicting tenants who are unable to pay their rent.

The order, which aims to clarify an existing residential eviction moratorium outlined by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, will remain in effect for the rest of the year.

“Many families are trying to do the right thing,” Cooper said in a news conference. “They’re having to make tough choices, but this virus has made it difficult.”

A report prepared for the National Council of State Housing Agencies estimated 300,000 to 410,000 households in the state are unable to pay rent and are at risk of eviction, and 240,000 eviction filings could be submitted by January 2021. Together, landlords face a rental shortfall ranging from $632 million to $824 million.

The order notes that the CDC moratorium applies to all eligible residents, regardless of whether they live on federally subsidized housing.


“The result during this global pandemic will be more North Carolinians staying in their homes, more landlords getting paid rent and fewer utility companies shutting off of power,” Cooper said.

The governor’s announcement comes at a time when the state is grappling with an uptick in coronavirus cases, which Cooper does not yet consider a “spike.”

The state partially reopened bars, amusement parks and movie theaters earlier this month while easing indoor and outdoor gathering restrictions. Large venues such as football stadiums also have been able to have more fans in attendance for games.

The so-called Phase 3 reopening plan ends Nov. 13, giving Cooper about two more weeks to decide whether to ease or tighten current restrictions.

“We don’t have plans to go back,” Cooper said.

In the days and weeks leading up to the general election, President Donald Trump’s campaign has all but camped out in North Carolina, hosting a series of rallies with thousands of attendees crammed together with little physical separation from one another and minimal mask wearing, though the Trump campaign has been more proactive in handing out face coverings to attendees.

Cooper and Mandy Cohen, secretary of North Carolina’s Department of Health and Human Services, did not say Wednesday whether any positive coronavirus cases have emerged as a result of Trump’s rallies. They noted the state has struggled to get residents who test positive for COVID-19 to answer their phones and respond to questions from public health officials tracing contacts and sources of transmission. Even when people do respond and answer all questions, it can still be difficult to pinpoint an exact location where they became infected.

Cooper said white, rural voters in North Carolina have increasingly tested positive for the virus. This group represents a strong share of people who attend Trump campaign events.

Cohen’s office told The Associated Press in a statement earlier this month that it wasn’t aware of “any cases connected to rallies held by President Trump in North Carolina in September.”

The state reported its highest single-day increase of confirmed coronavirus cases

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More than 100 coronavirus cases and 3 deaths linked to North Carolina church event

A North Carolina church’s multi-day event has led to more than 100 cases of the coronavirus and three deaths, health officials said.

The outbreak is linked to the United House of Prayer for All People in Charlotte, which held convocations from Oct. 4 to Oct. 11.

Mecklenburg County’s Deputy Health Director said that a large number of people, including many from out of state, attended the events.

“I do not have a definitive count, I can say confidently from video that we’ve seen there were at least hundreds of people,” Raynard Washington said during a briefing Tuesday. “My understanding is that there were probably more than 1,000 involved over the course of that week.”

Local health departments in South Carolina, Georgia, New Jersey and New York have been made aware of the outbreak.

The United House of Prayer for All People in Charlotte, N.C., on Oct. 23, 2020. (Google Map)
The United House of Prayer for All People in Charlotte, N.C., on Oct. 23, 2020. (Google Map)

Health officials in Mecklenburg County, where the church is located, said Friday that 99 residents have tested positive, along with two in Iredell County. Of those confirmed cases, five have been hospitalized and a dozen are at the Madison Saints Paradise South Senior Living center.

One of the three deaths was at the center, Washington said, noting that at least four residents attended the church’s convocations.

The senior center declined to comment Friday and the church could not immediately be reached.

The health department said it is in the process of reaching out to more than 137 people who had close contact with the confirmed cases.

Around the country, church events have been linked to several coronavirus outbreaks.

In Maine, more than 40 people tested positive for the virus after Brooks Pentecostal Church in Waldo County held a fellowship rally earlier this month. Maine’s Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Nirav Shah said that about 100 to 150 people attended the rally and masks were available, but not routinely used.

And at least 10 cases have been tied to Calvary Baptist Church, also in Maine, after its pastor officiated an indoor wedding that has since been labeled a superspreader event linked to over a hundred infections and at least eight deaths.

Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine said one outbreak at a church in Ohio County “spread like wildfire” after a man with the virus attended a single church service leading to at least 91 infections across five counties.

“We have been very careful throughout this pandemic to exempt religious services from any regulations,” the governor said. “The only exception to that is that we are now asking people who attend church to wear a mask.”

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Newborn Loses Several Organs After North Carolina Hospital Allegedly Inserts Feeding Tube Incorrectly

A mother has filed a lawsuit against a North Carolina hospital for allegedly making a mistake following her newborn baby’s heart surgery, which has left him “fighting for his life.”

Messiah was born with a heart condition in November last year. A few days after his birth, the boy underwent a surgery at the Atrium Health Carolinas Medical Center.

Following the surgery, the child had trouble taking the feeding bottle, and when the mother, Shytilya Springs, informed the hospital, they decided to insert a feeding tube. 

However, the boy’s condition got worse after it was discovered the tube had pierced his intestines and all the nutrition they had supplied to the child through the tube had leaked. This caused the boy to lose several organs.

The mother told WSOC-TV that the boy is “still fighting for his life” and said the hospital is at fault.

Springs has now filed a lawsuit against the hospital and the medical staff. She is suing them because she would need nearly $20 million to look after her son for the rest of his life. Springs also said that as of now, the boy can’t taste food or eat.

“Once you put all the food into his abdomen, you either increase the pressure which compromised blood flow or the chemical reaction between the food products and his intestines caused the tissue breakdown. So, his stomach and intestines became necrotic. Essentially, they died. It became necessary to remove them to save his life,” attorney Charles Monnett said in the lawsuit, the television station reported.

The hospital is yet to comment on the lawsuit. However, they did appear in court and denied all the allegations.

Meanwhile, the Duke University Hospital is trying to determine if the boy could undergo an intestinal transplant. It wasn’t clear if the mother approached the hospital.

“I want him to be better,” Springs told the television station. 

Baby Feet This is a representational image of a baby’s feet. Photo: Pixabay

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