Covid Guidelines Change for Schools, Temps Plummet, Body Found in East AVL

State Changing Some COVID Guidelines In Schools

(Raleigh, NC) -- Some COVID guidelines are changing in North Carolina public schools. The Department of Health and Human Services is releasing a new toolkit today, which outlines quarantine measures for children who haven't received a booster shot but are eligible. Those students won't have to quarantine if exposed, as long as they aren't ill and the district requires face masks. The isolation period is being reduced for those who test positive for COVID-19.

Record Number Of COVID Cases In NC Again

(Raleigh, NC) -- COVID cases are continuing to shatter records in North Carolina. Health officials reported more than 24-thousand cases yesterday, which marks a single-day high. Hospitalizations climbed up to nearly 33-hundred. Mission Health's Chief Medical Officer in Asheville says there's been an increase in hospitalizations for children.

Foul Played Suspected After Body Found In Asheville

(Asheville, NC) -- A suspicious death is being investigated in east Asheville. Human remains were discovered in woods near Bleachery Boulevard on Wednesday afternoon. The Asheville Police Department revealed yesterday that foul play is suspected in the death. No identification has been made yet.

Wind Chills Below Zero In WNC

(Asheville, NC) -- Temperatures are bitterly cold in western North Carolina this morning. A continuing wind will make it feel like it's below-zero for a good amount of the region. An overnight winter system was expected to bring several inches of snow in higher elevations. It's not clear just yet on what affect it had in the mountains.

GoFundMe Set Up For Family Of Man Struck By Trooper

(Rutherford County, NC) -- A fundraiser is underway to help the family of a man who died in an accident with a highway patrol trooper. WLOS-TV says Dusty Beck was pulled over in a traffic stop in Rutherford County Monday when a trooper lost control of his patrol car, striking another trooper and Beck. More than 14-thousand-dollars has been raised through a GoFundMe account to help Beck's family pay for funeral expenses.

Mission Health Chief Officer Stepping Down

(Asheville, NC) -- The chief medical officer for Mission Health is leaving for another job locally. Dr. Bill Hathaway will serve as the CEO of the Mountain Area Health Education Center beginning next month. He served as C-M-O at Mission Health beginning in 2013.

COVID Forcing CMS Staff Shortages

(Charlotte, NC) -- CMS is dealing with staffing issues as COVID spreads rapidly. One middle school teacher told WBTV that staff absences there have tripled over normal numbers recently. The school district is also expecting there to be transportation issues while kids begin the return from the holiday break. Over 700 teachers have left their positions altogether since the beginning of August.

Police Chief Facing Justice Department Investigation

(Oakboro, NC) -- The police chief in a small town east of Charlotte being investigated by the Department of Justice. TJ Smith is accused of telling officers at the Oakboro police department where they could get fake COVID vaccinations cards. He was already placed on a two-week as part of an internal investigation conducted by the town. NBC Charlotte reports the D-O-J is now seeking copies of the internal investigation.

UNCC Basketball Game Delayed

(Charlotte, NC) -- COVID-19 is forcing a delay for UNC Charlotte basketball. The 49ers were scheduled to take on Old Dominion tomorrow, but the Virginia school won't be able to play due to protocols. No fans are being allowed at UNC Charlotte sporting events for a few weeks.

Two Arrested After Baby Drug Overdose

(Monroe, NC) -- Two suspects are facing charges in a baby's drug overdose in a Monroe. WBTV reports the 14-month-old was taken to the hospital earlier this week with suspected fentanyl in the child's system. A man was arrested for child abuse and drug charges, while a woman is facing abuse charges. The child is now recovering.

Charlotte Principal Finalist For State Award

(Charlotte, NC) -- A CMS principal of the year is in the running for the statewide award. Larenda Denien is one of eight finalists for North Carolina's principal of the year after placing first for the southwest region. She's been at the head of Idlewild Elementary School for seven-years.

Omicron Variant In NC Blamed For Spiking New COVID Infections To Over 24-Thousand Thursday

(Raleigh, NC) -- The surge of new COVID-19 cases across North Carolina continues to head in the wrong direction. Figures released by HHS on Thursday, showed there were 24-thousand-292 single-day infections, an increase of over 35-hundred from just the day before. On January 4th, the last day for which data was made available, the state's test positive rate had risen to 30-point-one-percent. There were also 32-hundred-93 people in the hospital. And, there were 44-additional coronavirus related deaths.

North Carolina Doctors Issue Plea For People Not To Visit Emergency Rooms Unless COVID Symptoms Are Severe

(Raleigh, NC) -- Doctors at the top hospitals across the Triangle are asking people with only mild or no COVID symptoms, not to seek treatment at emergency rooms. On Thursday, the chief medical officers at Duke, UNC Health and Wake Med, said hundreds of people who've been crowding ER's recently for non-medical emergencies, have placed an undue strain on hospital workers, causing many of them to call in sick. They advise those who feel cold or flu-like symptoms, to visit urgent care centers, family care physicians or any number of available mobile testing or vaccination sites.

QVC In Rocky Mount To Close, Leaving Nearly 2K Jobless

(Rocky Mount, NC) -- Owners of the QVC Distribution Center in Rocky Mount have decided to close its warehouse facility, following a massive fire last month that killed one employee. As a result, more than 19-hundred workers will lose their jobs. The news comes after the parent company of QVC, Quarte Retail Group, disclosed that it had filed a Worker Adjustment Restraining and Notification with the North Carolina Department of Commerce. The company said it will be closing and ceasing all operations at the Rocky Mount location after February 1st. However, it will continue to provide workers with health insurance through the end of February.

Decision On North Carolina Redistricting Lawsuit Expected By Tuesday

(Raleigh, NC) -- Closing arguments wrapped up Thursday at the North Carolina state Superior Court, in a combined lawsuit that challenges the recently re-drawn Congressional and legislative district maps. Plaintiff's argued the new maps were drawn by Republicans in the General Assembly, to intentionally dilute black voting strength and to tilt future elections in their favor. Republicans insist the lawsuit was brought by progressives, who simply want to get more Democrats elected. The three judge state panel is expected to rule on the case next Tuesday.

Dozens Gather At Various Locations To Remember Riot On U.S. Capitol

(Raleigh, NC) -- Dozens of residents gathered at Bicentennial Plaza in Raleigh last night, for a candlelight vigil to commemorate the one year anniversary of the January 6th riot on the U.S. Capitol. The event, organized by the group 'Indivisible Triangle Call to Action', primarily focused on voting rights. One by one, speakers called on state and federal leaders to pass new and stronger laws that protect, early voting, mail-in voting and restoration of parts of the 1965 Voting Rights Act. Similar January 6th rallies were held Thursday in Raleigh, Chapel Hill and Durham.

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