Ways to Connect

Two Maids and a Mop - Charlotte

Brandon Brown works as a custodian at Cochrane Collegiate Academy. He’s been a custodial worker for 14 years. 

With students in virtual learning, he's cleaning a nearly empty school. But there are still teachers in the classrooms, and to keep them safe, he spends his days going from classroom to classroom wiping everything down. He’s also cleaning bathrooms -- even lockers -- and making sure air vents are clean to prevent the transmission of COVID-19. 

Mayor John Aneralla of Huntersville
David Boraks / WFAE

Gov. Roy Cooper's decision Thursday to extend a statewide stay-at-home order until May 8 averts a showdown over whether Mecklenburg County should extend its own order. Mayors of the county's six towns disagree on how soon to reopen. 

Five Oaks Rehab

There are at least 67 confirmed cases of COVID-19 at Five Oaks Manor, a nursing home and rehabilitation center in Concord. The Cabarrus County facility has 134 residents and 230 staff members, according to administrator Drew Richard.

One of Charlotte-Mecklenburg Library's 3D printers produces a batch of face shield parts.
Aubrey Hedrick

3D printers are humming across the Charlotte area this week, making protective equipment for health care workers. The state, like many in the U.S., has a shortage of masks, face shields and other supplies because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Two N95-type face masks, or respirators, and a N100-type mask.
Debora Cartagena / CDC



Many North Carolina health care workers are taking new precautions as the state, like many across the U.S., grapples with a shortage of masks, face shields and other supplies during the coronavirus pandemic.

Alex Olgin / WFAE file photo


Mecklenburg County commissioners are set to meet Tuesday with representatives from Cardinal Innovations Healthcare less than a month after commissioners accused the company of providing inadequate service. The company coordinates behavioral health care for the county’s Medicaid recipients.

An architect's drawing shows what the proposed CaroMont Regional Medical Center-Belmont would look like from I-85.
CaroMont Health

North Carolina’s Department of Health and Human Services has approved CaroMont Health’s plan to build a hospital in Belmont near Interstate 85 and state highway 273. 

An example of a sexual assault kit.
Nick de la Canal / WFAE


South Carolina is struggling with a problem that exists nationwide — a backlog of rape kits, which are part of an exam used to collect forensic evidence after a sexual assault. Over time, the kits are often lost, but a bill to create a tracking system has bipartisan support by state legislators who are hopeful it will soon become law.

Atrium Health
Atrium Health



A new option for pain relief in labor is gaining popularity in the United States -- nitrous oxide, also known as laughing gas. At least five Charlotte-area hospitals now offer it during childbirth.

Mecklenburg County Public Health Director Gibbie Harris
Claire Donnelly / WFAE

Mecklenburg County health officials said Friday the travelers from China they are monitoring so far show no signs of the novel coronavirus.

Atrium Health's Carolinas Medical Center Main Complex, Charlotte.


Atrium Health and Wake Forest University still are waiting to hear from federal regulators on a proposed partnership that would bring a new four-year medical school -- the city's first -- to Charlotte. 

A new residential treatment program for veterans suffering from PTSD will be located at HopeWay, a mental health residential and day treatment center.
Claire Donnelly / WFAE

Charlotte will soon have a residential treatment program for veterans suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder and other forms of trauma. 

Fruits and canned foods are some of the items on display inside one of Charlotte's new mobile food pantries.
Claire Donnelly / WFAE


Two big metal trailers are parked in a warehouse parking lot. Inside, shelves are lined with loaves of bread, boxes of pasta and rows of canned goods. Freezers and a refrigerator hold things like milk and ground turkey. 


TheHilaryClark / Pixabay

As firefighters battle a blaze, they are exposed to chemicals and minerals like asbestos, formaldehyde and benzene that can stick to their gear, get on their skin or into their lungs. Numerous studies show this kind of exposure can increase the risk of cancer.

Dr. Katie Passaretti, Medical Director for Infection Prevention at Atrium Health, said the risk of the newly documented coronavirus appearing in Charlotte is low.
Claire Donnelly / WFAE


Charlotte-area hospitals are preparing for possible cases of a newly detected coronavirus after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced the first confirmed case in the U.S. earlier this week. 


For the last four years, Queen City Needle Exchange has handed out free sterile syringes and the opioid overdose reversal drug Naloxone. The group sets up at different clinics in the Charlotte area throughout the week and also operates a mobile unit.

Big Study Casts Doubt On Need For Many Heart Procedures

Nov 16, 2019
operating room
Piron Guillaume / Unsplash

PHILADELPHIA  — People with severe but stable heart disease from clogged arteries may have less chest pain if they get a procedure to improve blood flow rather than just giving medicines a chance to help, but it won't cut their risk of having a heart attack or dying over the following few years, a big federally funded study found.


The largest insurance company in North Carolina is expanding. Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina announced it’s combining with Cambia Health Solutions, which provides coverage in four northwestern states.

Kimberly-Clark has issued a voluntary recall of some U by Kotex tampons, after a "quality-related defect" caused the tampons to come apart inside of consumers' bodies, leaving pieces behind after the tampon was removed.

The problematic tampons have pushed users to "seek medical attention to remove tampon pieces left in the body," the personal care company says. "There also have been a small number of reports of infections, vaginal irritation, localized vaginal injury, and other symptoms."

Atrium Health
Atrium Health

Updated: 5:05 p.m.

Atrium Health released more details about its $1 billion expansion plans announced over the summer to build new facilities at its quarterly board meeting Tuesday morning.

Atrium Health, formerly known as Carolinas HealthCare System, is having a dispute with the Mecklenburg Medical Group.
Zuri Berry / WFAE

The group of physicians that sued Atrium Health to void their non-compete agreements and operate independently hasn’t received confirmation from the health system that it will allow for the group to leave despite public statements saying otherwise.

Carolinas HealthCare System

Atrium Health's chief executive Gene Woods told employees not to let the media noise distract them from serving patients amid an escalating dispute over its choice of an anesthesiology provider and a suit by a group of physicians to operate independently. 

 The 2018 North Carolina health outcomes map.
Robert Wood Johnson Foundation

Mecklenburg County was ranked the fifth healthiest county in the state. That’s according to a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation report. The annual study looks at how long people live and how healthy their lifestyles are. But there are some less-than-pleasant details.

Atrium Health
Atrium Health


One day after Carolinas HealthCare System changed its name to Atrium Health to avoid ties to a specific region, the hospital announced it is exploring an expansion into Georgia. Atrium said Navicent Health, which is based in Macon, will become part of its health care system.

Carolinas Healthcare System has a new name - Atrium Health.
Atrium Health

Carolinas HealthCare System is changing its name to Atrium Health. The healthcare system announced the change Wednesday and said the new name won’t limit it to the Carolinas.

Alex Olgin / WFAE

Blue signs in the windows of Rite Aid stores are telling shoppers they now have a Walgreens pharmacy inside. As part of a $4.3 billion deal finalized last year, nearly 2,000 Rite Aid stores will transfer to Walgreens ownership across the country, including about 50 in the Charlotte area.  

Alex Olgin / WFAE

Kids going through a mental health crisis in Charlotte now have the option to go to a crisis center rather than an emergency room. A new facility in the city’s University area opened last month to treat kids and teenagers. The state health department says it’s the first of its kind to open in North Carolina.  

North Carolina Community Health Center Association

This week Congress continued funding the Children’s Health Insurance Program, or CHIP, for six more years. The program’s future had been in doubt because Congress had failed to renew funding for it before it expired last September. So states had been running on reserves and short term fixes. Dollars for community health centers expired that same day. But Congress hasn’t yet re-authorized money for those centers where many kids get care.

Alex Olgin / WFAE file photo

The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services says it plans to return control of Cardinal Innovations Healthcare to the new board of directors this weekend.