Central Prison pictured on March 30, 2020 in Raleigh, N.C.

The first four cases of COVID-19 in state prisons were announced on Thursday, two days after the North Carolina Department of Public Safety increased efforts to limit the spread of coronavirus in prisons.

NCDPS first issued guidance on the virus in mid-March, but a coalition of advocates is calling on the department to do more to protect inmates.

“We’ve known for awhile now that our prisons and jails across the state are particularly vulnerable to an outbreak of COVID-19,” Molly Rivera, a spokesperson for the American Civil Liberties Union of North Carolina, said. 





DTH Photo Illustration.  An Alert Carolina message sent on Saturday, March 21, 2020 confirmed  multiple members of the UNC community have tested positive for COVID-19.

'I've heard all the stereotypes': Students, alumni respond to COVID-19-related racism

UNC alumni and students emphasized that racism toward Asians is not a new concept. These sentiments have always been present, they said, but now racists have an excuse to express themselves. Members of the UNC campus community have reported experiencing prejudice as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, which originated in China. Students and alumni referenced the use of the term, "the Chinese Virus," as well as fear of hate crimes and discrimination. Chancellor Kevin Guskiewicz responded to "incidents of racism and xenophobic animosity" with a campus-wide email on March 25. 


Rep. David Price, D-NC, celebrates his re-election at the election night party at the Democratic Headquarters in Raleigh on Tuesday, Nov. 6, 2018. 

Here's what the third coronavirus relief package means for North Carolina

Some college students are concerned because they aren't specifically addressed in the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act, the third federal bill addressing the COVID-19 crisis. Most Americans will receive direct checks for $1,200 — or $2,400 for married couples who jointly file tax returns — with an additional $500 for each child aged 17 and under. If a student is still considered a dependent on their parents' taxes, however, they will not receive a direct check themselves.


A resident enters Spencer Residence Hall on Sunday, Mar. 1, 2020. Built in 1924, Spencer was the first all-female residence hall, but is now co-ed.

After first being terminated effective April 1, UNC RAs will be paid through April 30

Carolina Housing announced Monday that resident advisers will be paid through April 30, alleviating uncertainty about what campus residence hall closures would mean for student staff. This announcement came following a letter signed by hundreds of people urging Carolina Housing to pay their student staff during the time campus would be shut down. The decision is a reversal of previous guidance sent to student staff in a March 18 email which said their positions had been terminated, and suggested reaching out to the Financial Aid office for guidance on this "reduction in income."  


Charlotte City Workers Union organized a rally at City Hall on Monday, March 2, 2020. Speaking to the crowd is Dimple Ajmera, City Council member in support of Medicare for All, running for State Treasurer. Photo courtesy of Miranda Eltson. 

N.C. public service workers seek relief from officials as COVID-19 risks escalate

The expansion of COVID-19 continues raising risks for essential state employees, with the death of a Raleigh sanitation worker last week marking a new level of urgency. UE local 150 — a union representing North Carolina public service workers, including many at UNC — sent individual letters to Gov. Roy Cooper, Raleigh city leaders and the UNC System Board of Governors earlier this month.  The UE150 letters called on each authoritative body to implement new, "commonsense" measures that increase support for these workers, as the coronavirus shutters them off from working for needed wages and endangers them in their day-to-day duties. “Something like this kind of shows where there’s a lack of resources, supplies, a lack of personnel,” UE150 President Bryce Carter said, “so it brings those points out even more in these times.” 


A sign points to the Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools administrative office on Wednesday, March 4, 2020.

CHCCS Board of Education to fund WiFi hotspots for students without internet access

In preparation for the implementation of at-home learning until May 15, the Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools Board of Education estimated the need for 225 MiFi hotspots to address the technology gap among elementary school students. The Board is also setting up approximately 500 Chromebooks for elementary school students that will tentatively be available for pick-up at the Lincoln Center or may be delivered to students directly.


A tent stands outside the emergency wing of the UNC Medical Center on Monday, March 23, 2020. The tent was set up to keep coronavirus patients separated from other patients and hospital staff members.

Here's how COVID-19 changed life in the University and state over the course of a month

The University, city and state have seen dramatic changes over the past month due to the COVID-19 pandemic. From classes going remote and campus shutting down to North Carolina residents being directed to stay at home, coronavirus and the related restrictions impact nearly every aspect of people's daily lives. From the first case in North Carolina to a statewide stay-at-home order and everything in between, here's how COVID-19 has impacted UNC, Chapel Hill and North Carolina so far.  


Beth Miller posing with Rameses, the mascot of UNC Athletics, in the home of former fencing head coach Ron Miller. 
Photo courtesy of UNC Athletic Communications.

Beth Miller quietly worked to help the rise of women's athletics for decades

Beth Miller might not be a household name outside of the UNC athletics department, but the long-time administrator was a vital part of the rise of women's athletics in Chapel Hill, as well as one of the few female administrators working for the Tar Heels.  As the University of North Carolina's first Senior Woman Administrator in the athletics department, Miller juggled being head volleyball coach and the department's business administrator before moving into full time administration, before overseeing all Olympic sports for nearly 20 years.