Craven County’s first COVID-19 case was detected in March 2020. Now, just shy of its first anniversary, the county has passed the 8,000 mark, with 8,012 lab-confirmed cases as of earlier today, Feb. 18, 2021. Also during that near-one-year time period, 113 Craven County residents died of COVID-19-related reasons. On the bright side, Craven County recorded 608 cases over the last 14 days. That’s a bright spot because the number of new cases over a 14-day period had been over 900 cases immediately following the Holidays. That means the county, like much of the rest of the nation, has gone over the post-holiday spike inRead More →

North Carolina reached a grim milestone in the COVID-19 pandemic — more than 10,000 North Carolinians have died from the virus as of Tuesday, Feb. 10, 2021. The state also surpassed 800,000 total cases on Tuesday.  “Together we grieve with the family and friends of the North Carolinians who have lost their lives to this terrible pandemic,” said NCDHHS Secretary Mandy K. Cohen, M.D. “Each one of these numbers represents a daughter or son, a parent or grandparent, a neighbor or friend — people who are deeply loved and who were part of the fabric of our community.” Both CDC and NCDHHS guidelines say everyoneRead More →

Research shows mitigation measures allow safe in-person learning, low transmission among students and teachers Top state education leaders and N.C. Gov. Roy Cooper are calling on K-12 school districts across the state to allow in-person instruction for all students. Cooper, N.C. Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Mandy Cohen, State Superintendent of Public Instruction Catherine Truitt, and State Board of Education Chair Eric Davis said that ongoing research shows that with proper mitigation measures, in-person learning is safe, and to emphasize the critical importance of ensuring all students have an opportunity to learn in a classroom.  “Protecting the health and safety of the peopleRead More →

A COVID-19 relief bill passed through the North Carolina General Assembly with unanimous support and is now waiting for Gov. Roy Cooper to sign it. The votes were 45-0 in the Senate and 117-0 in the House. The House approved the bill on Thursday. District 3 N.C. Rep. Steve Tyson said that if Cooper signs it, Senate Bill 36 will put approximately $18 million into Craven County Schools. “We hope it will be used to help get our kids back in school and allow failing students to attend summer school to get caught up,” Tyson said Throughout the state, the bill puts $39 million forRead More →

Craven County has had 832 cases in the past 14 days, so it has not quite finished enduring the post-Christmas Break spike. Over all, it has 7,404 lab-confirmed cases and 108 deaths, according to the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services. Latest map Craven County Schools has required all classes be held online at West Craven High School, where 31 percent of staff either has COVID-19 or is in isolation for exposure. The school district reported that four staff members and seven students have tested positive for COVID-19 district-wide between Jan. 30, and Feb. 1, 2021. Previous map This is not considered aRead More →

Following is a first-person perspective working behind the scenes at CarolinaEast Medical Center during the COVID-19 pandemic. By Joshua Hardee, BBA/HCM, CarolinaEast Health Systems Maintenance Whew…Where do I begin? 2020 has been one of the most trying years of my life. We lost my wife’s grandmother, and then my grandfather passed in January. My wife had surgery and I had my own health scares, along with being laid off a part-time job, and seeing the result of COVID-19 shutdown on my own small business in the Pool and Spa Industry. COVID has changed a lot, even in my role on the board with a localRead More →

A high number of COVID-19 cases has forced West Craven High School to return to online-only classes. Based on the COVID School Closure Alert System, West Craven High School is in the red with 31 percent of its instructional staff out of school due to either testing positive for COVID-19 or as a result of being identified as a close contact needing to quarantine for 14 days. “Out of an abundance of caution for our students and staff, West Craven High School will move to full remote learning starting Monday, February 1st until Friday, February 5th. It is our goal for the school to returnRead More →

On Jan. 27, North Carolina reported administering 99 percent of its first doses of COVID-19 vaccine, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention ranked the state as 6th in the nation for total doses administered, 12th for first doses administered per 100,000 people, and 17th for total doses administered per 100,000 people. “North Carolina vaccine providers have done a phenomenal job serving the people of our state,” said North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Mandy K. Cohen, M.D. “This is incredibly hard work, and they’ve shown that they are both up to the task and committed to partnering in new waysRead More →

Craven County reached two grim milestones this week in its continuing journey through the COVID-19 pandemic. First, on the positive side, hospitalizations were at 20 on Friday after reaching highs in the 30s during previous weeks, and the number of new cases over a 14-day period has dropped below 800 for the first time since the Christmas Break. The county passed 7,000 lab-confirmed cases and 100 COVID-19-related deaths, according to statistics maintained by the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services. There were about a dozen deaths in Craven County over the past week, a record since the pandemic started here in March 2020.Read More →

By TAYLOR SISK This is part two of a two-part series exploring racism as a public health crisis in Appalachia and its compounding due to COVID-19. Read part one here. As COVID-19 bore down on his community, Thomas Beavers recognized that primary among his responsibilities was dispelling the rumors.  Beavers is pastor of New Rising Star Missionary Baptist Church in Birmingham’s East Lake community. He ministers to some 3,800 members. Early in the coronavirus pandemic, rumors circulated within African American communities across the country that Black people were immune to the virus. Or that infection was actually occurring during the testing process. But in consultationsRead More →