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. 

 

‘As normal as possible’: WCU outlines plans for Fall 2021

As the pandemic continues to recede, Western Carolina University is planning for a fall semester that “will look more like fall 2019 around here than fall 2020,” Chancellor Kelli Brown told trustees during a June 4 meeting. 

Mask mandates lifted amid plummeting COVID-19 numbers

New COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations are falling toward the lowest levels seen since the pandemic took root. 

Honoring our healthcare heroes

By Greg Caples • Guest Columnist | What is a hero? Maya Angelou famously said, “I think a hero is any person really intent on making this a better place for all people.” 

Vaccination still slow as Pfizer shot approved for teens

For the fourth straight week, the rate of vaccinations has decreased in the four-county area, with just 0.5 percent of the four-county area’s population receiving a first dose between May 3 and May 10. 

Sitting in the mess can be worth it

I’m not the traditional church-going type. “Christianity” is an antiquated, laden term of which I’m not a fan. My faith is unique, evolving. My God is changing and alive with the times. My Bible is a book of stories, metaphors and poetry. It is not a hard and fast guidepost.

New vaccinations continue to slow

Vaccinations continue to slow down in the four-county area and in the state as a whole, but case counts are dropping too, with the 981 new cases reported statewide May 4 — marking just the fourth time since October that figure has fallen below 1,000.

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