Now we know what the COVID police will do

I’ve had mixed feelings about the “COVID police” since the beginning of the pandemic’s lockdowns.

Politicians pandering to American paranoia

By Martin Dyckman • Guest Columnist | Two heart-rending articles occupied the front page of the Florida newspaper that I was reading online two Sundays ago. 

One told the stories of people who had survived the 9/11 attacks 20 years ago. The other followed a nurse through a 12-hour shift in a hospital’s intensive care ward for COVID-19 patients. Three had died the day before. More will this day. Most of her patients, including a 36-year-old mother of two, are not expected to live. An older woman codes seven times before her suffering ends. The one patient who is recovering is the only one in the ward who was vaccinated.

COVID-19 deaths continue across the region

Macon County Public Health received notification Aug. 30 that a Macon County resident between the ages of 65-74 who was diagnosed with COVID-19 passed away. This death brings Macon County to 44 deaths related to COVID-19.

As hospitals mandate staff vaccines, Mission Health resists

By Peter H. Lewis • Asheville Watchdog | The largest health care providers in Western North Carolina, including Mission Hospital in Asheville, recently confirmed that they are not requiring doctors, nurses, volunteers, or other hospital staff to be vaccinated against the COVID-19 virus despite a resurgence of infections and hospitalizations. 

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. 

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. 

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. 

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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