Throughout the wake of COVID-19 and practicing social distancing, information and resources will be posted here under “What You Need to Know: COVID-19 in Buncombe County”.
The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services recorded 255 state residents who have tested positive for COVID-19 as of today, March 22nd.
Buncombe County health officials announced a county resident tested positive for COVID-19. The individual is currently quarantining at home and was tested at Mission Hospital earlier this week.
“We know that there is already community spread in North Carolina,” Dr Jennifer Mullendore, interim health director told Asheville Citizen Times. “It is critical that the public follow our guidance regarding social distancing and staying home when you are sick.”
Cherokee County Health Department announced the first reported cases in Western North Carolina residents. The health department reported in a Facebook post that three Cherokee County residents (plus a fourth individual who is an Illinois resident) tested positive for COVID-19.
North Carolina’s tax season will be extended at least three months. The North Carolina Department of Revenue announced the deadline to file individual income, corporate income, and franchise taxes will move from April 15 to July 15. This state-level decision follows the IRS’s own deadline extension.
In Case You Missed It:
Buncombe County has closed its two test sites at Biltmore Church in Arden and UNC Asheville just after three days of drive thru testing. Dr. Mullendore said during a March 20 press conference that the decision was made primarily to conserve resources for “the long haul” in Buncombe’s management of the disease caused by the novel coronavirus.
Businesses required to close – The order specifically names gyms, fitness centers, exercise facilities, indoor pools, spas, beauty salons, barbershops, movie theaters, live performance venues and arcades as being affected by the order.
According to the county, gyms and fitness centers include:
- Martial arts studios
- Crossfit gyms
- Dance studios
- Massage parlors
- Medical spas
- Nail salons
- Beauty parlors
- Barber shops
- Tattoo parlors
- Bowling alleys
- Indoor recreation centers
- Climbing gyms
- Trampoline parks
- Escape rooms
Businesses that are excluded in the mandate:
- Grocery stores
- Convenience stores
- Hardware stores
- Gas stations
- Farmers markets
- Food distribution sites selling prepared food
- Auto dealerships
Public Health officials want to remind individuals to practice social distancing and not stand within six feet of each other for 10 minutes or more while visiting these sites.
The limitation on gatherings (10 people or more) does not include:
- Normal operations at medical facilities
- Recovery groups
- Bus and train stations
- Shopping malls
- Office environments
- Child care centers.
- Essential health and safety services also are exempt
Buncombe officials said the order is part of an effort to “be proactive and save lives” by increasing and encouraging social distancing in the county. “This next week is absolutely critical in Buncombe County’s fight against the spread of COVID-19,” the release states. “These enhanced measures we are implementing now are vital in reducing the impact the disease will have on our community in the long-term.” Buncombe County Public Health will reevaluate the measure March 27.