coronavirus


COVID & College

It’s not the junior year of college that I was expecting, that’s for sure. This time last year, I was going home for spring break thinking I’d be back at UNC the very next week. Then the pandemic hit, and I was forced to move out and finish the semester online at my parents’ house.


An Exercise in Pandemic Activity: Some Do, Some Don’t

Flashback to almost one year ago — April 2020. Gym doors were locked, soccer teams had their seasons halted and yoga classes were transferred online. That 5K you were signed up for? Cancelled. Time at the pool with your kids? Not so fast. Your weekly cycling class? Whoa there, pump the brakes.



Gotten your shot?

Have you gotten your COVID-19 vaccination yet? Are you in the right tier that is currently eligible to be vaccinated?


Pandemic Recovery: Public Input Needed

How will Orange County recover from the COVID-19 pandemic? The Orange County Long-Term Recovery Group is offering its suggestions virtually this Friday and Saturday, and will allow the public to have a say in the plan moving forward.



Local Residents Get Their Shots

Linda Paylor was one of the first patients Monday morning as COVID-19 vaccinations began at the Friday Center for those 75 and older during Phase 1b of the N.C. vaccination program.


UNC Pushes Back In-Person Start

UNC has decided to push back the start of in-person undergraduate classes for an additional three weeks because of what Carolina Chancellor Kevin Guskiewicz called “record COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations in North Carolina and around the country.”


Vaccine Now Available to Ages 75+

Orange County residents 75 and over can now get the COVID-19 vaccine. North Carolina has moved into Phase 1b Group 1 of COVID vaccine distribution, meaning individuals 75 and older are now eligible to receive the COVID vaccine. There is no requirement to have certain qualifying chronic conditions.


The Year That Was

What was the biggest story in Chapel Hill, Carrboro and southern Orange County in 2020? There’s no question: the virus.


What happens if you break the COVID curfew?

Gov. Roy Cooper’s modified “Stay at Home” order is forcing local businesses and residents to make changes, but Orange County law enforcement officials are responding with the same tactics they’ve used since March. Authorities throughout the county say they will rely on education to encourage voluntary compliance with an order that is difficult to strictly enforce.


County Lays Out Vaccination Plan

The Orange County Health Department has announced its plan to distribute a COVID-19 vaccine when it becomes available, breaking down the community into several separate tiers.




UNC Getting Input on Spring Plans

UNC is convening a new advisory committee — comprised of students, faculty, staff and community members — to examine how to tackle the spring semester during the coronavirus pandemic.


UNC Reverses Course, Goes all Online

Barely a week after the reopening of campus and following reports that 130 students already had tested positive for COVID-19, UNC announced Monday that it was moving all classes online starting Wednesday.


Safety Nets Gone, Residents Face Financial Pressure

In March, state and federal authorities issued moratoriums on evictions and utilities cut-offs in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic and the resulting economic downturn. But in late July, nearly all those moratoriums ran out. Now, many Orange County residents are facing extreme financial pressures without those protections.


Health Department Can’t Shut Down UNC

Despite requests from local residents to close UNC, concerned that students arriving at the university will cause outbreaks of COVID-19, the Orange County health director says she essentially can’t shut down the campus.



COVID-19 Cases Pass a Milestone

The number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Orange County has surpassed 1,000. A month ago, the number of cumulative cases in the county was below 300. At the beginning of July, the count was 750.


College Students Question Campus Return During Pandemic

Many North Carolina colleges and universities have begun moving forward with plans to reopen on an adjusted schedule this fall. But as the number of COVID-19 cases continues to rise in the state — especially among young people — many college students are feeling uneasy about the prospects of returning to campus in a few weeks.


County Imposes New Restrictions

With COVID-19 cases rising sharply locally, the Orange County Commissioners will start requiring restaurants to be closed for the onsite consumption of food and beverages from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. They also will not be allowed to serve alcohol after 10 p.m.


At the Library, the Books Come to You

After months of planning, the Chapel Hill Public Library launched its new curbside pickup program June 15. Now, three weeks into the program, the library is providing thousands of book lovers with the works they desire.


El Centro Launches COVID Campaign

El Centro Hispano, along with statewide Hispanic media, is launching a NC Unida Contra El Virus campaign, designed to send unified messages to the at-risk Latino community to raise awareness about COVID-19 and reduce contagion.


In a Time of Need, Students Drive Up

During the coronavirus pandemic and the subsequent economic lockdown, several students from the Chinese School of Chapel Hill saw local businesses and local residents struggling. They wanted to do something about that.


Requests for Housing Help Skyrocket

Requests for emergency housing financial assistance have skyrocketed throughout Orange County, including a six-fold increase in Chapel Hill, since the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic and the subsequent economic lockdown.




Open and Shut Cases

It’s one thing to successfully guide a business through a recession. It’s another to start one from scratch during the worst economic downturn in decades. But three local entrepreneurs have done just that.



Carrboro Lends a Hand

Armadillo Grill, The Artscenter and the Community Worx thrift shop are among 10 Carrboro-based small businesses and non-profits receiving grants from a second round of funding from the town designed to help ease the economic impact of COVID-19.



Stepping Up to the Test

The coronavirus pandemic has meant tragedy for many and hardship for almost all. Yet it also has given some the opportunity to make a real difference. That group includes Orange County resident Maria Joyce, a doctor with the Durham VA Healthcare System. Here’s her story. 


IFC Moves Residents to Hotel Rooms

The Inter-Faith Council for Social Service, which provides housing for those experiencing homelessness in Orange County, has moved a large chunk of its residents to local hotel rooms.



Welcome Back.

North Carolina has entered Phase 2 of the gradual re-opening of our economy and the resumption, to the degree that it’s possible, of our day-to-day lives. Welcome Back. Our Pledge is a Shared Commitment with You to Keep Each Other Healthy.



UNC to Open, Close Early

UNC Chapel Hill will re-open its campus for the fall semester but will start and finish it early “in an effort to stay ahead of that second wave” of the coronavirus, university Chancellor Kevin Guskiewicz announced Thursday.


Hanging Tough in Hard Times

COVID-19 has touched us all, in ways big and small. I think first about those who are sick, and those who live in fear of becoming infected. I worry about those who are laid off, furloughed or working fewer hours, and struggling to provide for themselves and their families.