Carter Barrett

Reporter, Side Effects Public Media

Carter is a reporter based at WFYI in Indianapolis, Indiana. A long-time Hoosier, she is thrilled to stay in her hometown to cover public health. Previously, she covered education for WFYI News with a focus on school safety. Carter graduated with a journalism degree from Indiana University, and previously interned with stations in Bloomington, Indiana and Juneau, Alaska.

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It’s official: The World Health Organization says COVID-19, the disease caused by coronavirus, is a pandemic. Government and industry leaders are moving to cancel events and stem the flow of the disease, even though some experts say it is too late. President Donald Trump announced a travel ban from European countries last night. The NBA has suspended its season and the NCAA will play tournament games -- including some scheduled for Indianapolis -- without fans. 

UPDATE: As the case count continues to rise, information on this story is moving quickly and may be out-of-date. We recommend checking the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for ways to stay safe and this John Hopkins tool for the most recent data

Coronavirus cases are rising and we found many of you -- our listeners and readers -- have questions that go beyond the number of people infected with COVID-19. Questions that are tricky and complicated. Side Effects and Indiana Public Broadcasting are working to find answers, so we turned to Kara Cecil, an assistant professor of public health at the University of Indianapolis.

The coronavirus' impact continues to deepen with the National Guard enforcing a one-mile containment area in a New York City suburb and officials in Italy ordering a nationwide lockdown. In the U.S. Midwest, major universities are shutting their doors and pivoting to online learning. Several jails and prisons are also suspending visits amid the outbreak

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Cases of the novel coronavirus –– or the disease caused by the virus, COVID-19 -- continue to mount throughout the Midwest. Some states have turned to closing K-12 schools or colleges.

Provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention/ Alissa Eckert, MS

Coronavirus is spreading across the Midwest, and health officials are scrambling to stem the disease -- or prepare for a potential epidemic. Side Effects will keep you updated on this evolving story and share reports from partner stations across the Midwest -- including news of a school closing in Indiana and the first case in Missouri. 

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We asked you, our listeners and readers, to share  your concerns with healthcare costs. And the results are in. 

Photo by Carter Barrett/Side Effects Public Media.

Communities across the Midwest have been devastated by the opioid epidemic. But there's still a lot of misunderstanding about how opioids affect our bodies. A new and unusual museum exhibit is tackling this issue. 

Photo by Fangirl/Pixabay CCO license. https://pixabay.com/photos/texting-boy-teenager-sitting-1999275/

Dr. Darla Hinshaw walks up to the podium in the Indiana Senate chamber. She's there to tell lawmakers about the children she treats as a psychiatrist and the issue standing between kids and effective treatment.  

Natalie Krebs / Side Effects Public Media

The federal government recently raised the smoking age to 21 to help curb teen vaping.  Some are applauding the decision as a win for public health. Others worry it was a knee-jerk reaction.

An "open tank" e-cigarettes sits on the counter at Mason Odle's vape store, Just Vapor. These larger, open tank systems are exempt from FDA regulations on flavors.
Photo by Carter Barrett/Side Effects Public Media.

Just a few weeks ago, some Midwest state legislatures were aiming to raise the legal age for smoking. But Congress moved first, setting a new national age limit of 21. Now, some anti-smoking advocates say that’s not enough. 

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