Monday News: Eight thousand eighty three

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CORONAVIRUS CONTINUES TO RAVAGE NC, POSITIVE TESTING RATE 10%: At least 674,637 people in North Carolina have tested positive for the coronavirus and 8,083 have died since March, according to state health officials. The N.C. Department of Health and Human Services on Sunday reported 6,911 new COVID-19 cases, down from 7,986 reported the day before. Sixty-seven additional coronavirus-related deaths were reported Sunday. At least 3,862 people in North Carolina were reported hospitalized with the coronavirus as of Sunday. As of Friday, the latest date for which data are available, 10% of coronavirus tests came back positive. Health officials say the number should be about 5% to slow the spread of the coronavirus.
https://www.newsobserver.com/news/coronavirus/article248569615.html

Sunday News: From the Editorial pages

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ROY COOPER: NORTH CAROLINA IS STRONG, RESILIENT, AND READY: As we enter 2021, we carry the imprint of our people’s frustration and loss as well as our determination and resilience. This new year and this new term as Governor is more than just turning the page of a calendar. The lessons we’ve all learned must usher in a new era. An era where we can acknowledge and work around our differences while refusing to sacrifice truth and facts at the altar of ideology. Where the dangerous events that took place at our nation’s capitol can never be justified. So let’s reach together – to find ways all North Carolinians can afford to see a doctor. To get a quality education and a good paying job. To reform our systems that hurt people of color and to live and work in an economy that leaves no one behind, no matter who they are or where they live. I am humbled by the trust that you, the people of North Carolina have placed in me to serve again as your Governor.
https://www.wral.com/roy-cooper-north-carolina-is-strong-resilient-and-ready/19467632/

Saturday News: NC's culture of racism

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BLACK HENDERSONVILLE HOSPITAL EMPLOYEE THREATENED WITH "50 LASHINGS": When Jackson wore her hair naturally to the office, the complaint says a white colleague asked her “oh my god why would you wear your hair like that?” “God made me this way,” Jackson reportedly responded. Jackson told her supervisor, but she said nothing was done about it. Instead, on two separate occasions, her supervisor threatened her with “50 lashings” if she didn’t perform her job duties as mail room manager correctly, the lawsuit said. When Jackson told the company’s CEO, the complaint alleges her supervisor began retaliating against her by rifling through her belongings “looking for something to try and accuse plaintiff of wrongdoing.” Jackson is seeking a jury trial, compensatory and punitive damages and attorney’s fees.
https://www.newsobserver.com/news/state/north-carolina/article248538895.html

Justice is (finally) coming for Flint residents

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Water is the source of life, or death:

After a criminal investigation that stretched close to two years, prosecutors in Michigan on Thursday announced 41 counts — 34 felonies and seven misdemeanors — against nine officials who once worked in the highest echelons of state government.

Prosecutors said the officials failed to protect the safety and health of the residents of Flint, who were sickened by increased levels of lead and by Legionnaires' disease after the city’s water supply was switched to the Flint River in April of 2014. At least nine people died of Legionnaires’ in the Flint region from June of 2014 through October of 2015; two of the officials on Thursday were charged with nine counts of involuntary manslaughter.

The Flint River was already nasty decades before Michigan officials decided to make the switch. They knew it, and so did everybody else. But they did it anyway:

Friday News: State-wide campaign

EFFORT TO BRING EQUITY TO COUNTY VACCINE DISTRIBUTION HAS SLOWED NC ROLLOUT: As the N.C. Department of Health and Human Services ramped up its vaccine distribution, Secretary Dr. Mandy Cohen put an emphasis on equity. She wanted to make sure at least some doses got to all 100 counties in the state. But not all health departments have the same capacity to carry out the final step. As a result, some counties told DHHS they would be OK taking smaller shipments, while other counties will see their allotments increase. Cohen acknowledged the emphasis on geographic equity contributed to the delay. Now, the state will push for speed. “There is a tension between speed and equity,” Cohen said. “And we were trying to find that right middle ground.” State health officials announced this week they were setting up 10 “high-throughput” sites around the state which will receive a combined allocation of 45,000 doses.
https://www.newsobserver.com/news/coronavirus/article248501115.html

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