Healthcare

Two Wilmington men have been sentenced to prison for distribution of heroin (Port City Daily/File)

Cooper signs pregnant prisoner protection bill into law, supported by unlikely coalition

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Governor Roy Cooper signed House Bill 608 into law Friday, legislation supported by a bipartisan coalition of groups that often find themselves on opposite sides of reproductive issues. The new law carves out a host of new safeguards for pregnant prisoners that protect the health of women and their babies. It ensures pregnant prisoners are […]

Novant responds to leaked video with doctor asking for scarier Covid-19 messaging

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NEW HANOVER COUNTY –– A two-minute snippet of an internal video conference among top Novant Health leadership leaked Friday, showing healthcare administrators engaging in a blunt conversation about public Covid-19 messaging.  It is unclear when the video conference occurred and how it was shared. In the last couple of months, the hospital’s Covid-19 cases have climbed, […]

What are mAbs? And other Covid trends as preventable hospitalizations peak

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The delta variant continues to strain healthcare resources across the country, with local hospitalizations continuing to peak. New Hanover Regional Medical Center is treating around 132 hospitalized individuals daily as of last week, up from 104 in late August, then its highest-ever number of Covid-19 patients. Across Novant Health systems, 94% of all patients requiring […]

Virus spread at UNCW causing live-time shakeups, but fall semester plans hold steady

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WILMINGTON—The low levels of Covid-19 spread in the early months of summer encouraged the University of North Carolina at Wilmington community. Like public institutions across the state, UNCW hoped the fall 2021 semester could reclaim a sense of normalcy after a year marked by ever-present virtual classes and the exodus of many students from campus.  […]

Charters call health director’s actions ‘inappropriate’ after requesting student records amid Covid outbreak

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BRUNSWICK COUNTY –– After deputies served “control measure orders” at two charter schools in Brunswick County, the schools’ leadership penned a letter to the board of commissioners this week to alert them of “inappropriate and ​​precipitous” actions taken by the county health director.  Last month county health director Cris Harrelson authorized two health orders to force […]

Commissioner candidate files grievance, claims health director briefly took her phone, he denies it

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NEW HANOVER COUNTY –– A candidate running in the 2022 New Hanover County Board of Commissioners race has filed a complaint against the county health director for allegedly taking her phone from her hand and stopping an ongoing recording.  The health director denies both grabbing the phone and ending the tape. The alleged incident occurred after […]

County health officials, law enforcement aren’t enforcing the mask mandate. So who is?

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NEW HANOVER COUNTY –– New Hanover County’s new mask mandate isn’t being officially enforced by the parties with the power to uphold it.  Both the Wilmington Police Department and the New Hanover County Sheriff’s Office are not enforcing it. The county’s public health director, who issued the mandate, said any enforcement (“only when absolutely necessary”) would […]

Medical weed bill tightened further, still moving in Senate

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A handful of significant edits were recently made to the medical cannabis bill promoted by local N.C. Senate Republicans Bill Rabon (Brunswick) and Michael Lee (New Hanover).  The voyage of their weed bill has already been historic; legislators are considering cannabis with a novel seriousness, and, even more unprecedented, the bill has already triumphed in […]

With nursing shortage, NHRMC almost full amid delta surge

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WILMINGTON –– Intensive care capacity at New Hanover Regional Medical Center is strained once again amid a Covid-19 surge that may be worse than the last one.  NHRMC is close to maxing out its ICU capacity but has declined to share specific numbers. ICUs across Novant Health’s entire system are at 97% capacity, a Novant […]

Pregnant, breastfeeding women cleared to get vaccine; Covid heightens adverse outcomes for infants and mothers

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The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention updated its guidance for pregnant and breastfeeding women Wednesday, strongly encouraging them to get vaccinated against Covid-19.  The guidance comes on the heels of a CDC analysis of existing safety data, finding no increased risk of adverse birth outcomes after women received at least one dose of the […]