BREAKING: Buncombe County Announces "Stay Home Stay Safe" Guidelines

Buncombe County’s COVID-19 Case Count now sits at 13 cases in residents and 5 cases in out of state travelers.

10 of the 13 have already recovered from their illness as have the 5 out of state travelers that according to Buncombe County Interim Medical Dr Jennifer Mullendore.

There 504 confirmed cases of COVID-19 across 53 counties in North Carolina.

Dr. Mullendore continued to emphasize the need for social distancing, saying the time for everyone to get on board is right now! A theme that has been echoed for more than a week.

Wednesday’s presser also brings with it more restrictions and guidelines for businesses and residents of the county.

Buncombe County Commissioners and Commission Chair Brownie Newman have signed off an a new set of guidelines and restrictions meant to help further mitigate the spread of the COVID-19 Coronavirus.

Fletcher Tove, Buncombe County Emergency Preparedness Director says the "Stay Home Stay Safe" Declaration includes residents being ordered to stay in place at their residence except for essential business. (Health and safety, for work deemed essential, and to take care of others.)

Essentials businesses are defined as essential healthcare operation, government functions, essential retail, providers of basic necessities, the news media, child care services.

All businesses may maintain a minimum level of basic business operations.

All public and private gatherings are prohibited for the duration of the Declaration.

Religious ceremonies must be conducted via video.

Anyone who has traveled from NYC or another COVID-19 Hotspot must self quarantine for 14 days.

Those new restrictions and guidelines go into effect Thursday, March 26th at 8m and last through Thursday April 9th, 2020 at 6am.

North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper called an Emergency Press Conference on Wednesday afternoon as well with a very simple message for the state, there's another change coming.

Cooper said they were working on that Executive Order now and that it would be released later in the week.

North Carolina also reported the first death in the state, a person in their late 70's with underlying health conditions in Cabarrus County died on March 24th.

A second person who was traveling through North Carolina also died from COVID-19 complications, they were in their 60's and also had underlying health issues.

The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services recommends that people at high risk of severe illness from COVID-19 stay at home to the extent possible to decrease the chance of infection. On March 22, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) updated who is at high risk for severe illness. People at high risk include anyone who:

  • Is 65 years of age or older
  • Lives in a nursing home or long-term care facility
  • Has a high-risk condition that includes:
  • chronic lung disease or moderate to severe asthma
  • heart disease with complications
  • compromised immune system
  • severe obesity - body mass index (BMI) of 40 or higher
  • other underlying medical conditions, particularly if not well controlled, such as diabetes, renal failure or liver disease

In addition, pregnant women should be monitored closely since they are known to be at risk for severe viral illness. However, data so far on COVID-19 has not shown increased risk for severe COVID-19 illness in pregnant women. While children are generally at lower risk for severe infection, some studies indicate a higher risk among infants.

Governor Cooper has taken several actions to protect the health of North Carolinians, including ordering all K-12 public schools in North Carolina to close through May 15th , banning gatherings of more than 50 people, limiting bars and restaurants to only take-out or delivery service, restricting visitors to long-term care facilities, and promoting social distancing by closing businesses like movie theaters, gyms, nail salons, and several others.

SUPPLEMENTAL DECLARATION OF A LOCAL STATE OF EMERGENCY: View PDF

Buncombe Stay Home – Stay Safe Supplemental Declaration: Interpretive Guidance: View PDF

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