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”.
As of March 23rd, there are now 8 positive cases in Buncombe County. The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services has counted 398 cases among North Carolina residents, up 101 from the day before. Eleven people have been hospitalized and there have been no deaths reported thus far.
Community homeless shelters have begun lock-down protocols. Governor Roy Cooper has announced that all K-12 schools have been formally closed until at least May 15th. He said it’s possible students might not return to physical classrooms until the fall, but said he’s “not ready to give up on this year of school.” State standardized testing will most likely be cancelled and there will be no spring sports.
Park managers closed all Great Smoky Mountains National Park areas, except the Foothills Parkway and the Spur, on the far western Tennessee side of the park, with plans to reopen April 6.
Gov. Roy Cooper’s executive order that limited restaurant options to takeout and delivery have local establishments struggling and many staff have been laid off.
Find out what restaurants are open for takeout and delivery here.
Madison County has declared a ‘shelter-in-place’ recommendation to its residents on March 23. People are asked to remain in their homes or on their property unless it’s essential to leave for groceries, prescriptions or other medical care.
Asheville Mayor Esther Manheimer said that her first priority is stressing to residents how important social distancing is to prevent further spread of the coronavirus. Two of the county’s eight cases appear to be community spread rather than individuals who had contact with coronavirus carriers.
Here are a few helpful links courtesy of News Team Member Courtney Garcia:
MISSION HEALTH SUSPENDS VISTATION ACCESS – https://www.citizen-times.com/story/news/local/2020/03/21/coronavirus-covid-19-nc-mission-health-asheville-suspends-visitation-visitors/2893559001/
Evictions, foreclosures suspended
A judicial order halting all non-essential court proceedings means evictions and foreclosures will be postponed amid the coronavirus pandemic, Chief District Court Judge Calvin Hill said March 17.
The order, issued by North Carolina Chief Justice Cheri Beasley March 13, directed courts to postpone the cases for at least 30 days. Hill said in a county media briefing that judges in Buncombe have been continuing most proceedings for 60, 90 or 120 days.
GOP 11th District runoff delayed
Lynda Bennett and Madison Cawthorne, the two top vote-getters in the Republican primary for the 11th District, will now face off on June 23. The runoff or ‘second primary’ was delayed more than a month due to the pandemic.
- Buncombe County’s COVID-19 Emergency Website.
- If you have questions for authorities regarding the coronavirus, call 2-1-1 on your phone. Do not call 911 unless it is an actual emergency.
- The county has banned all gatherings of more than 10 people and closed numerous business that are considered non-essential.
- Governor Cooper’s Twitter with executive orders in place
- Apply for Unemployment Benefits here
- Listing of Free Lunch Pickup Locations for school children
- If you need childcare anywhere in the state, call 1-888-600-1685 to be connected with resources for that.
- Listing of take-out restaurants that are still open can be found here.
- Asheville Rapid Transit buses will be free as of March 20th + social distancing measures added to rides
- Update: Federal and state tax filing deadlines extended to July 15th.
FLIGHT CANCELATIONS – https://www.newsobserver.com/news/coronavirus/article241400871.html
On March 24, Governor Cooper directed $50 million in school funding flexibility to help public schools to serve students during the COVID-19 crisis. This allotment consists of unused funds from the current and previous school years as well as the State Emergency Response and Disaster Relief Fund.
On March 24, Governor Roy Cooper requested a major disaster declaration for the State of North Carolina in a letter to President Trump. Among other requests, the letter asks the federal government to provide individual assistance for those affected, including crisis counseling, disaster unemployment assistance and Small Business Administration assistance, due to the continuing impacts of COVID-19. California, New York and Washington have already received major disaster declarations for COVID-19. To read the Governor’s request click here.
On March 24, the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services and the North Carolina Child Care Resource and Referral launched a hotline for critical workers who are seeking child care options due to COVID-19 closures. Families who have flexible working arrangements are encouraged to stay at home with their children. Workers who need care may call 1-888-600-1685 to receive information about local options for children from infants through age 12. The hotline is open Monday through Friday 8 am to 5 pm. The hotline will be staffed by CCR&R, which partners with the North Carolina Division of Child Development and Early Education and the fourteen NC CCR&R regions to support a strong child care resource and referral system statewide.