Our public health crisis is not over yet

Allison Richmond • Guest Columnist | Haywood County is struggling to cope with a very unusual situation, two separate states of emergency happening at the same time. A month and a half ago, historic flooding brought loss and anguish to our community, and while that is devastation enough, for nearly two years now COVID-19 has threatened the health of every one of us.

COVID vaccine supply diverted to larger counties

Just last week, Swain and Macon county health officials lamented over a limited supply of COVID-19 vaccines making it to them from Raleigh, and this week they have a better understanding of why. 

Seasonal flu cases remain low in 2020-21

It’s always hard to predict what kind of flu season the U.S. should expect and how severe cases could be. Add in the fact the U.S. is still experiencing record numbers of new COVID-19 cases on a daily basis and it makes predicting the future more difficult. 

Public rhetoric should prompt removal

By Jesse Lee Dunlap • Guest Columnist | As someone whose politics are centered on bodily autonomy, I sympathize with folks who are against forced vaccinations. I bristle at anything that encroaches on a person’s individual freedoms — restrictions on abortions, prohibition, gun laws, etc. — any mandate, especially any mandate from the government, especially from the American government, which has a long history of using “medicine” to harm black, indigenous, and poor people. We all have ample reason to be cynical and skeptical of the American healthcare system, and no one should be ridiculed for questioning what is in a vaccine. This stuff is going right into your body. It is normal and prudent to question what goes in your body.    

Newspaper story fuels tumultuous Waynesville town meeting

A routine housekeeping measure intended to clarify who, exactly, can declare a State of Emergency on behalf of the Town of Waynesville — and, for what reasons — devolved into a disruptive shouting match over a non-existent “mask mandate.” Town officials, including Mayor Gary Caldwell, attribute all the fuss to a sensationalized story containing multiple inaccuracies.

Cases continue to rise in western counties

Rural counties have so far been sheltered from the high numbers of positive COVID-19 cases, but as testing ramps up, the number of positive cases continue to rise. 

Two COVID clusters cause spike in Macon cases

Updated 6/4/20: Macon County now has 109 positive COVID-19 cases, 94 of those are active.

Macon County has seen a surge in positive COVID-19 cases within the last week as two clusters were identified and testing capabilities increased.

Seamers make masks during pandemic

When Mandy Wildman opened up her own bridal shop on Hazelwood Avenue in February, she had no idea her new business venture would take an immediate hit when COVID-19 brought the wedding industry to a standstill.

Organizations step up the fight against COVID-19

Of all the socioeconomic and educational weaknesses lain bare by the coronavirus pandemic of 2020 perhaps none is more disturbing than the fact that the closure of public schools has resulted for many children not just in a loss of education, but also a loss of nutrition. 

WNC health officials prepared for COVID-19

Just in the last week, the number of COVID-19 cases reported in North Carolina has grown from seven cases to 40, but as of March 17 no confirmed cases have been reported in Western North Carolina. 

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