Daily dose

Wednesday News: Ode to the gig workers

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UNEMPLOYMENT BENEFITS FOR SOME NC WORKERS ARE DELAYED: Taylor said he couldn’t yet promise lawmakers exactly when the state might be in a position to start approving people for those PUA benefits, but “I’d really like it up and running in two weeks.” The reason for the wait and the uncertainty, Taylor said, is the “tremendous amount” of paperwork needed to verify that self-employed people applying for unemployment are telling the truth about their job losses, their incomes, or even that their businesses are legitimate. And although Congress approved the PUA benefits two weeks ago, the federal government didn’t publish the actual rules for the program until Sunday. Taylor said state unemployment officials spent Monday trying to figure out all the numerous rules and requirements, and will next try to figure out how to best put the new system into place. Politico reported Monday that those rules have raised the ire of some Democratic politicians and groups for excluding too many people.
https://www.newsobserver.com/news/politics-government/article241828321.html

Tuesday News: Keep flattening the curve

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NC'S SOCIAL DISTANCING SEEMS TO BE WORKING. IT COULD BE MUCH WORSE: At least 2,947 people in 91 North Carolina counties have tested positive for the coronavirus. There are at least 132 confirmed cases statewide of people recovering from the virus, although many counties aren't reporting those numbers. At least 44 people have died in North Carolina, and about 270 people are hospitalized. Six North Carolina residents have died of coronavirus-related complications on Monday, including three in Mecklenburg County and one in Moore County. A statewide stay-at-home order is in effect through April 30. Any local orders with tighter restrictions take precedence over the state order. Coronavirus cases at the federal prison complex in Butner have skyrocketed, from 11 reported cases on Sunday to 59 on Monday, according to local health and federal prison officials.
https://www.wral.com/coronavirus/live-nc-coronavirus-updates/19043849/

Monday News: Pandemic updates

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39 PEOPLE HAVE DIED FROM COVID 19 IN NORTH CAROLINA: North Carolina has at least 2,677 reported cases of the coronavirus as of Monday morning, and 39 people have died, according to state and county health departments. The state identified 183 new cases on Sunday. More than 260 people in North Carolina were hospitalized with COVID-19 as of Sunday evening, and more than 40,000 had been tested for the virus, according to the N.C. Department of Health and Human Services. More than 90 of the state’s 100 counties have at least one reported case of the coronavirus. Mecklenburg County, considered an epicenter of the virus in North Carolina, has the most reported cases in the state, with 665.
https://www.newsobserver.com/news/coronavirus/article241787796.html

Sunday News: From the Editorial pages

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NORTH CAROLINA'S BEAUTY TRIUMPHS AMID COVID 19: During the next few weeks and months while many of us are “hunkered down,” it is important to remember that the world around us is still beautiful, ever changing, and very much alive. Across North Carolina new wildflowers will pop up every week, different birds arrive and depart each month. Beaches, rivers and forests can provide sanctuary and respite in these difficult times. While we are unable to travel freely, isolated from friends and the natural world, I’ll try to send pictures of North Carolina each week—from Bald Head Island to Cape Lookout, Southport to Currituck, Umstead Park to Pilot Mountain, and from Linville Gorge and Panthertown Valley to the high peaks of Mitchell, Grandfather and Roan.
https://www.wral.com/coronavirus/tom-earnhardt-north-carolina-s-beauty-triumphs-amid-covid-19/19041968/

Saturday News: 2,093 and rising

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TRACKING COVID 19 CASES AND FATALITIES IN NC: NC DHHS reported 2,093 confirmed cases of COVID-19, up from 1,857 on Thursday. Of those, 259 people are hospitalized. The state’s official death toll continued to rise as Henderson County south of Asheville reported its first death: an elderly patient at Pardee Hospital. Other counties also reported deaths on Friday. Johnston County reported its second death, an elderly person with underlying medical conditions, a county release said. Gaston and Mecklenburg also each had one and Guilford reported two. Wilson County reported a death on Friday, a woman in her early 60s with underlying health problems. Davie County also reported a death, its second. The state has now tested 31,598 people. Wake County’s total cases rose to 279 Friday. Durham County had 172. Starting Saturday, Durham’s city and county stay-home orders will be combined and strengthened, with crowd sizes reduced to no more than five people.
https://www.newsobserver.com/news/coronavirus/article241734536.html

Friday News: The wrong list

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NC HAS THE SECOND LARGEST UNEMPLOYMENT CRISIS IN THE NATION: More than 350,000 North Carolinians have filed for unemployment since mid-March, state officials said in a daily update Thursday. That’s when businesses starting closing down due to local and statewide orders to try to stem the tide of COVID-19. And those 350,000 people don’t include those who have lost their jobs but haven’t filed for unemployment. There have been numerous reports of problems with the website and phone lines at the state’s unemployment office, which has been swamped by the record job losses, the News & Observer has reported. “North Carolina has the second biggest increase in unemployment due to coronavirus,” WalletHub said, explaining that when taking both numbers into account for all 50 states, only Louisiana has been hit harder.
https://www.newsobserver.com/news/coronavirus/article241724831.html

Thursday News: She's not wrong, you know

REP. ALMA ADAMS SAYS PANDEMIC RESPONSE WOULD BE BETTER WITHOUT TRUMP: “I’m getting to the age where I don’t have time to mince words: If the Senate had removed President Trump in January, I believe our country’s response would have been swifter, more competent, and would have saved lives. President Trump has demonstrated that he’s incapable of leading the country during a crisis, and his inaction has cost lives,” Adams, 73, said in an emailed response to a series of emailed questions about the coronavirus and Congress’ response. Trump enjoyed a bounce in the polls for his response, which include daily on-camera press conferences from the White House. Several surveys showed more Americans approved than disapproved of his handling. However, a Wednesday poll from Politico/Morning Consult had some poor numbers for Trump. The poll found that 61% of registered voters think Trump was not prepared for the outbreak. The poll found 47% percent of voters feel the administration is not doing enough compared to 40% who think it is.
https://www.newsobserver.com/news/politics-government/article241682686.html

Wednesday News: Environmental protections

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GOVERNOR COOPER ISSUES 60-DAY FREEZE OF UTILITY DISCONNECTS: Cases of coronavirus topped 1,500 in North Carolina on Tuesday, as residents hunkered down under statewide stay-at-home restrictions and Gov. Roy Cooper signed an executive order prohibiting utility companies from shutting off service to people who are unable to pay. “Today’s action orders that electric, gas, water and wastewater services can’t be shut off for the next 60 days,” Cooper said in an afternoon news conference, adding that telecom companies that provide phone, cable and internet services are “strongly urged to follow these same rules.” The order also encourages banks not to charge customers for overdraft fees, late fees and other penalties for the next 60 days, while landlords are “strongly encouraged to follow the spirit of” an order previously enacted by Chief Justice Cheri Beasley, which delays evictions already in the court system.
https://www.newsobserver.com/news/coronavirus/article241610361.html

Tuesday News: Essential Fetish

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WAKE COUNTY DECIDES TO REOPEN GUN SHOPS AFTER THREAT OF LAWSUIT: Wake County is reversing its stance on whether gun stores can remain open during the coronavirus pandemic. But Wake County Commissioner Chair Greg Ford said the county is not changing its stay-at-home order because gun advocacy groups complained about it. "These are routine updates as circumstances change,” he said. Paul Valone, president of gun rights organization Grass Roots North Carolina, previously told The News & Observer that gun stores sell things people need to protect their families and homes. GRNC and Gun Owners of America (GOA) sent a letter to Ford and Wake County threatening legal action if gun shops were not listed as essential businesses. “I think they are denying people the ability to protect themselves,” Valone said.
https://www.newsobserver.com/news/coronavirus/article241626921.html

Monday News: State of the State

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YOUNGER PEOPLE MAKE UP THE BULK OF NC'S COVID 19 CASES: North Carolina has at least 1,186 reported cases of coronavirus as of Monday morning, according to state and county health departments. The majority of cases are people between the ages of 25 and 49 years old. At least 78 of the state’s 100 counties now have at least one reported case of the virus. Nearly 19,000 people have been tested in the state, according to the N.C. Department of Health and Human Services. Mecklenburg County has the most reported cases in North Carolina, with 336. Wake County has 146 reported cases, and Durham County has 107. As of Sunday, 91 people in the state were in the hospital with COVID-19, health officials said.
https://www.newsobserver.com/news/coronavirus/article241606656.html

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