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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Click the video player above for the latest information from Gov. Roy Cooper.

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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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If you need help or want to help others, we’ve got resources

LOS ANGELES, CA - APRIL 08: Ralph Sutton, left, food box outreach coordinator at the Los Angeles Mission in the Skid Row area of downtown Los Angeles gives boxes of food to Brent Kostanski, 41, who is homeless and is originally from Massachusetts as staff and volunteers assemble 150 bags of food and hygiene products that will be distributed to homeless people on Wednesday mornings. The staff is working to maintain safety with masks and social distancing as they serve those in need. Skid Row on Wednesday, April 8, 2020 in Los Angeles, CA. (Al Seib / Los Angeles Times)
Ralph Sutton, an outreach coordinator for the Los Angeles Mission in skid row, hands Brent Kostanski a box of food. (Al Seib / Los Angeles Times)

Food insecurity has always been an issue in Southern California, and during the COVID-19 pandemic, the need for assistance is greater than ever. The Los Angeles Regional Food Bank reports that distribution is up by 145% since March and that 115 million pounds of food, the equivalent of 95 million meals, have been provided.

In more than 30 years of working in the food banking and pantry business, Michael Flood, chief executive of the Regional Food Bank, said he has never seen anything like it. “Not even close,” he said. “I know it’s used over and over again, but [the need] is truly unprecedented.”

The approaching holidays compound the crisis. “We are also moving into a time when people are used to doing something special in terms of getting together and having whatever their food traditions are,” said Flood, “so we have truckloads of turkeys purchased, full tractor trailer loads. The volume here is significant. Will it be enough? No. There’s more need than that, but will it help? Yeah, it will definitely help.”

Food banks are typically 501(c)(3) nonprofit organizations that warehouse, organize and transport food to local pantries and programs, that will, in turn, distribute the groceries.

Want to help others? Go online to the food bank in your area to see what’s needed:

If you or someone you know is in need of assistance, there are a variety of ways to get help:

CalFresh

If you qualify for CalFresh, California’s food stamp program (SNAP), you may be eligible to receive up to $204 a month per household member. Go to GetCalFresh.org or call the Los Angeles County Health and Nutrition hotline, (877) 597-4777.

Dial 211

Dialing 211 will put you in touch with a 211.org operator in your area who will help you find and access food pantries, meal delivery services and public benefits.

World Harvest Food Bank

For $40 (cash, credit or EBT) or four hours of volunteer service, shoppers can fill up a grocery cart (estimated at more than $200 in value) with the food of their choice.

3100 Venice Blvd., Los Angeles, (213) 746-2227; worldharvestla.org

Women, Infants & Children (WIC) Program

WIC provides monthly benefits to qualifying women and young families for purchasing supplies at the grocery store. For details, phfewic.org.

Seniors/older adults

For meals in Los Angeles County and the city of Los Angeles, call (800) 510-2020.

Food pantry locator

To find your nearest food distribution center or mobile drive-through event, go to LAFoodBank.org, click on the Find Food tab and input your area code for a list of resources, or call (323) 234-3030 for assistance.

This story originally appeared in Los Angeles Times.

Source Article

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Nursing home VP says federal inspection diverted resources to COVID response during nation’s first outbreak

The executive in charge of the nursing home where the first known outbreak of coronavirus patients erupted in the U.S. says a federal inspection diverted precious time from her staff’s desperate efforts to care for critically ill residents. Bill Whitaker and his team were the first reporters allowed inside the Life Care Center in Kirkland, Washington, since the outbreak there last February. His report reveals the details of the early stages of a medical emergency that soon grew into a pandemic and the federal government’s bungled response to it. The report will be broadcast on 60 Minutes, Sunday, November 1at 7 p.m. ET/PT on CBS.  

Nancy Butner, a vice president at Life Care Centers of America who ran the Kirkland facility for 14 years, was desperate for more staff. Forty of them, including the medical director, could no longer come to work because they had COVID-19 symptoms. She asked the federal government for an emergency team of doctors and nurses. A team of doctors and nurses did come five days later, but not before the federal government sent a team in to inspect Life Care Center of Kirkland in the middle of the outbreak. “It was infuriating– they didn’t truly understand COVID or what the facility was going through,” Butner tells Whitaker. “Hours of staff time were averted to managing a survey process instead of managing a crisis in the facility and patient care.”    

Life Care Center says inspectors from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services interviewed staff and demanded documentation, diverting 400 hours of staff time away from patient care. “They knew how many staff were lost. They knew how many patients were hospitalized. They knew there was a lot of  patients that were sick and it was an unknown virus,” says Butner. “I explained that to them. But I can’t… tell them to leave.”   

60 Minutes searched hundreds of public documents and turned up emails that show state health officials pressed the governor’s office to call off the inspection. Dr. Jeffery Duchin, the head of outbreak response at Public Health Seattle-King County called the inspection “Not an appropriate use of precious time.” He tells Whitaker he believes the government knew its investigation was taking place during a public health emergency at a critical time. “I don’t have any reason to believe it. That it was a mix-up. I believe it was an intentional decision to conduct a survey at that time.”    

Says Butner, “I think they wanted a scapegoat for what happened at Life Care Center Kirkland. I think that they wanted someone to blame for COVID-19 spreading. We had nothing to do with the spread across the nation.”

60 Minutes wanted to ask Seema Verma, the federal administrator in charge of the inspection, about the timing of the inspection and the findings, but her office declined multiple requests for an on-camera interview.  

Life Care was fined more than $600,000 by the federal government and state inspectors working with federal investigators working with federal investigators found the

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New wave of coronavirus cases strains resources

With coronavirus hospitalizations surging in much of the United States and daily cases hitting all-time highs, the pandemic is putting new strain on local health systems, prompting plans for makeshift medical centers and new talk of rationing care.



a person driving a car: A health-care worker performs a coronavirus test at a drive-through site in Mesquite, Tex., in August. (Cooper Neill/Bloomberg News)


A health-care worker performs a coronavirus test at a drive-through site in Mesquite, Tex., in August. (Cooper Neill/Bloomberg News)

In Texas, authorities are scrambling to shore up resources in El Paso, where intensive care units hit full capacity on Saturday and where covid-19 hospitalizations have nearly quadrupled to almost 800 in less than three weeks. In Utah, the state hospital association warned that if current trends hold, it will soon have to ask the governor to invoke “crisis standards of care” — a triage system that, for example, favors younger patients.

“It’s an extreme situation, because this means that all your contingency planning has been exhausted,” said Greg Bell, president of the Utah Hospital Association.

“I think all of us agree that the situation we have right now is unsustainable,” said Joe Dougherty, a spokesman for the Utah Department of Public Safety. 

New reported infections nationwide surpassed 80,000 for the first time ever Friday and again Saturday, as hospitalizations push past 40,000 and daily death tolls begin to climb. This new wave of infections, expected to intensify as winter draws closer, is spread wider than the spring surge that devastated East Coast states and the summer wave that slammed the South and the Southwest. And it comes as some Republican leaders are leery of renewed shutdowns, as Americans grow wearier of restrictions and as the Thanksgiving travel season threatens to supercharge the virus’s spread.

“We are set up for just a perfect storm — a conflagration,” said Megan Ranney, an emergency medicine professor at Brown University. “Right now, you can talk about there being lots of little burning fires across the country. And then Thanksgiving will be the wind that will whip this fire up into an absolute human disaster for our country.”

As holidays near, the coronavirus is spreading rapidly, putting families in a quandary about celebrations and travel

This past week brought the highest number of coronavirus cases since the pandemic started. Dozens of states have seen a seven-day average of more than 100 new cases per 100,000 people, with more than 700 per 100,000 in North Dakota — population-wise, that would be the equivalent of Florida reporting more than 20,000 cases during the same time period.

Speaking Sunday on CNN’s “State of the Union,” White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows suggested that the spread of the virus is a foregone conclusion: “We’re not going to control the pandemic,” Meadows said. “We are going to control the fact that we get vaccines, therapeutics and other mitigation.”

But public health officials say every effort to minimize the virus’s damage matters — and could mean all the difference for hospitals on track to become badly overwhelmed.

In Utah, for instance, authorities are hoping that a recent expansion of mask mandates

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