NC MedAssist teams with Humana to provide a free over-the-counter medicine event in Cherokee County on July 23, 2021
NC MedAssist is hosting a local Mobile Free Pharmacy Event, in partnership with Humana, on Friday, July 23, 2021. The event will be held from 9:00am – 2:00pm at First Baptist Church of Murphy (517 Hiwassee St., Murphy, NC 28906). This free medicine giveaway is open to any individual or family in need of over-the-counter medication items. Such items include cough and cold medicine, vitamins, allergy medication, first aid supplies, etc. Participants must be at least 18 years old to receive medicine. No identification is required.
This mobile medicine giveaway will be held as a drive-thru only event. In order to comply with local recommended guidelines, all participants will remain in their vehicles while volunteers retrieve their medicine. Participants are highly encouraged to preorder their over-the-counter medicine online by visiting https://medassist.org/mobile/ and selecting their event. Please note, not all events have online order availability, however, additional options are available the day of the event so that all participants are able to receive medicine. All OTC items are given out on a first come, first serve basis, while supplies last.
At the event, participants will receive information on NC MedAssist’s Free Pharmacy Program, which mails free prescription medications directly to a patient’s home. NC MedAssist’s overall goal is to help ease the burden for those in need; it is aiding people who are making the choice between buying food and purchasing life-saving medication.
“Due to the pandemic, we had to create a new and innovative way to continue serving the community. We will be bringing close to $100,000 worth of OTC medicine to the event to be distributed to those most in need,” said Sheila Kidwell, Director of Foundations and Communication at NC MedAssist. “We understand there is a pressing need, especially in the midst of allergy season. Our goal in partnering with Humana is to improve the health of the community, one family at a time.”
The Mobile Free Pharmacy events serve an average of 800 individuals. To ensure the event runs smoothly, many volunteers are needed. NC MedAssist is partnered with safety-net organizations to recruit community members to serve in volunteer roles such as pharmacy consultation, client ‘personal shoppers’, and sorters. However, the charitable organization is still actively seeking volunteers for the Mobile Free Pharmacy Event from the community. Any available individuals can sign up at www.medassist.org/volunteer.
About the organization: NC MedAssist is a statewide non-profit pharmacy, founded in 1997. The organization provides free prescription medication to all low-income, uninsured North Carolinians who qualify for their Free Pharmacy Program. NC MedAssist offers three programs that address the needs of children and adults: the Free Pharmacy Program (for prescription medication), the Over-the-Counter Program (which includes the Free OTC Store in Charlotte, as well as the Mobile Free Pharmacy Program which distributes over-the-counter medicine in communities across the state), and the Transitional Jobs Program (for individuals with barriers to employment). Last year, NC MedAssist distributed $76 million worth of prescription and over-the-counter medicine to NC residents. Learn more about NC MedAssist right now at www.medassist.org. You can also visit their Facebook and Twitter pages, or contact them to find out how you can help.
Camping still prohibited along the Appalachian Trail in the Pisgah National Forest due to bear activity
Due to continued bear activity, camping is still prohibited along the Appalachian Trail in the Pisgah National Forest from Grassy Fork Road , mile marker 245, to Max Patch Road, mile marker 253.
Hikers should use bear canisters to store food and all other scented items. Bears are taking down bear bags hanging from trees and riffling through camping supplies and gear.
Bears have also been reported in other parts of the national forests including on the Grandfather Ranger District of the Pisgah National Forest near Old NC 105 and in the Joyce Kilmer-Slickrock Wilderness on the Nantahala National Forest.
Visitors are encouraged to prevent bear interactions by being BearWise and practicing these safety tips no matter where they are in the forest:
Attention Leaders, Emerging Leaders, and Entrepreneurs who want to help build thriving communities!
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The Town of Murphy is selling two tracts of real property, totaling 29.29 acres in Tangelwood, at 11 a.m. Thursday, July 22 at the steps of the Cherokee County Courthouse. For additional details and to review a copy of the survey, please click the following links:
Tanglewood Auction Details
As COVID-19 Variant of Concern Spreads Rapidly, Health Officials Urge North Carolinians to Get Vaccinated
There is increasing urgency for people to get vaccinated against COVID-19 as the more dangerous new Delta variant is rapidly spreading in the United States, including in North Carolina. Yesterday, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention classified the Delta variant as a ‘variant of concern’ because it spreads faster than current COVID-19 variants. Early studies from the United Kingdom have also shown a possible increased risk of hospitalization in people infected with the Delta variant. The currently available COVID-19 vaccines are the best protection against the virus and its variants.
The news comes as research is showing medical problems from COVID-19 can last even for those who did not have symptoms. A study by FAIR Health found that 19% of asymptomatic COVID-19 patients develop long-term symptoms such as pain, breathing difficulties, fatigue and high blood pressure. In addition, the study found that 27.5% of COVID-19 patients who were symptomatic but not hospitalized also developed lasting symptoms.
"While our COVID-19 trends are good, we are still seeing unvaccinated people hospitalized and dying from this virus, and many struggling with long-term effects like having difficulty breathing when doing simple activities. This is preventable if you get a vaccine to protect yourself and your community," said NC Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Mandy K. Cohen, M.D.
Getting a vaccine is the best way for people to protect themselves from COVID-19. Rigorous clinicals trials among thousands of people ages 12 and up have proven the vaccines are safe and effective against all circulating variants. More than 140 million Americans have now been safely vaccinated and protected from serious illness and virus-related hospitalization and death.
North Carolinians now have another reason to get vaccinated. Four vaccinated North Carolinians 18 and older will win $1 million each and four North Carolinians ages 12 to 17 will win tuition for post-secondary education. Drawings will run from June 23 through Aug. 4. All North Carolina residents 12 and older who have been vaccinated with at least one dose are eligible, some restrictions may apply. Those vaccinated starting June 10 are entered twice for each drawing — increasing the chance of winning for the newly vaccinated. Drawings will take place every other week on Wednesdays with the first drawing on June 23. New entries will close at midnight on the Sunday prior to the Wednesday drawing. Winners will be verified and then announced.
Learn more about the $4 Million Summer Cash and Summer Cash 4 College Drawings at SummerVaxCash.com. For more information about COVID-19 vaccines and the state’s Bringing Summer Back initiative, visit YourSpotYourShot.nc.gov or dial 1- 888-675-4567.
HOPE Program Applications Reopening
The NC Housing Opportunities and Prevention of Evictions (HOPE) Program is reopening applications soon. The HOPE Program provides rent and utility bill assistance to renters who have been financially impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. The HOPE Program has been updated since the first open application period. This fact sheet is intended to inform tenants, landlords and utility providers about how the new program works.
The HOPE Program will serve very low-income renters in 88 North Carolina counties. Very low income is defined as earning less than or equal to 50% of the area median income for the county where the renter lives. The 12 counties listed below received direct federal funding for rent and utility assistance programs. If you live in the one of these counties, you should apply to your local rent and utility assistance program instead of the HOPE Program:
Native American tribes also received direct federal funding for rent and utility assistance programs. Recognized members of the following tribes will be served by programs managed by their tribal governments: Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians, Coharie Tribe, Haliwa-Saponi Indian Tribe, Lumbee Tribe of North Carolina and Waccamaw-Siouan Tribe.
Very low-income renters are eligible for rent and utility assistance from the HOPE Program. To qualify for assistance, you must meet all of the following requirements:
The new phase of the HOPE Program will pay the monthly rent you owe to your landlord, up to the fair market rent for a 2-bedroom unit in your county. You can find the county fair market rent limits using the 2021 HUD Fair Market Rent Documentation System. Rent limits are rounded down to the nearest $5 for easier calculation.
Eligible applicants may receive up to 12 months of rent assistance, which may include up to nine months of past due rent. Rent assistance provided during the first phase of the HOPE Program counts towards the nine months of past due rent assistance that an applicant can receive.
The program also pays three months of future rent at a time, with 12 months being the maximum amount of assistance the program can provide in total. If the applicant has not exhausted 12 months of rent assistance, and funds are available, then an applicant may apply for additional rounds rent assistance if they still require rent assistance. Federal grant guidance requires that applicants re-apply and re-qualify every three months to ensure that the applicant continues to qualify for assistance.
Rent assistance is paid to the landlord on behalf of the eligible applicant. Landlords that accept this phase of HOPE funds agree to not evict the applicant for non-payment of rent during the period of assistance and for at least 60 days after that period ends.
Utility assistance is available to applicants that apply and qualify for rent assistance. Utility-only applications will not be accepted in this phase of the HOPE Program.
The program covers essential utilities, up to a maximum amount. Those utilities and the maximum assistance amounts are as follows:
Rent and utility assistance is provided based on the availability of funding.