Delta blues

The number of positive COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations are once again on the rise due to the delta variant, which is more contagious than the original virus. Despite mask recommendations from the CDC and state health officials, several school systems have decided to make masks optional when students return to class.

School boards make different decisions on masks

Due to an increase in COVID-19 cases and transmission rates following the spread of the Delta variant, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has updated its guidance for public schools to recommend universal masking for students, staff and visitors in grades K-12. 

Delta variant rolls back pandemic progress

Like much of the U.S., North Carolina’s efforts to recover from the COVID-19 Pandemic are backsliding as the Delta Variant of the virus has caused cases to trend upward once again. 

Delta surge comes to Harris

Dr. Ben Guiney wasn’t sure what he’d find when he showed up for his weekend shifts at Harris Regional Hospital last week. 

When town hall is empty: Boards debate merits of in-person, remote meetings

After a mass migration from boardrooms to cyberspace last spring, one by one Western North Carolina’s public bodies have transitioned back to in-person meetings — with the exception of Sylva’s town board. 

Mask mandate back in Cherokee; Masking encouraged but not required in N.C.

The indoor mask mandate is back on the Qualla Boundary following a July 29 executive order from Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians Principal Chief Richard Sneed.

What Covid taught us about infrastructure

By Peter Nieckarz • Guest Columnist | We seem to be collectively breathing a sigh of relief as the COVID-19 vaccine continues to roll out and we move towards a post pandemic state of “normalcy.” While we are grateful to be taking our masks off and gathering with friends and loved ones, it is likely that we will not return to the normalcy we knew before the pandemic.  

COVID-19 cases continue to rise

After months of decline, North Carolina is experiencing a rapid increase in COVID-19 spread among those who are unvaccinated. 

COVID cases surge: Haywood reports two nursing home outbreaks

New coronavirus cases were down to nearly nothing in Western North Carolina by the close of June, but in the past three weeks seven-day totals have multiplied in the four-county area. 

COVID cases, deaths hit new lows

Since Gov. Roy Cooper lifted the mask mandate on May 14, indoor gatherings have returned and face coverings have nearly disappeared from public spaces, while daily case numbers, hospitalizations and deaths have continued to plummet. 

 

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