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 today April 27th, there are 51 confirmed cases in Buncombe County and 3 deaths. There are 8, 623 confirmed cases in the state of North Carolina and 289 confirmed deaths statewide.
A reminder that many popular places in Pisgah National Forest remain closed, as does much of the Blue Ridge Parkway in Western North Carolina. Also closed, until at least May 8, is the Big Bradley Falls Trail in the Green River Gamelands in Polk County.
When Will North Carolina Open:
The stay-at-home order will extend through May 8, Gov. Roy Cooper announced April 23.
Based on the requirements Cooper set out, NC would have to see improvements in COVID-19 trends — including cases reported, hospitalization and death rates — to consider reopening May 9.
Cooper spelled out a three-stage approach North Carolina will use to gradually ease restrictions once trends improve.
Roy Cooper announced at an April 24 press conference that North Carolina’s public schools will remain closed for the rest of the school year as part of an effort to slow the spread of COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus.
By doing this, North Carolina joins 41 other states, three U.S. territories and the District of Columbia that have ordered or recommended that school buildings be closed for the rest of the academic year, according to Education Week. The closures are affecting around 43 million students.
Phases to Slowly Reopen NC:
- Stay-at-home order remains in place, but people can leave home for more commercial activities (including shopping at certain retail stores).
- Retailers and services will need to implement social distancing, cleaning and other protocols.
- Gatherings limited to no more than 10 people.
- Parks can open, subject to gathering limits.
- Face coverings recommended in public.
- Restrictions remain in place for nursing homes and other congregate living settings.
- Continued teleworking encouraged.
Phase 2 – can only begin 2-3 weeks after Phase 1 begins
- Stay-at-home order lifted with strong encouragement for vulnerable populations to continue staying at home.
- Limited opening of restaurants, bars and other businesses that can follow strict safety protocols while operating at reduced capacity.
- Houses of worship and entertainment venues can host gatherings at reduced capacity.
- Number of people allowed at gatherings increased.
- Public playgrounds reopen.
- Rigorous restrictions on nursing homes and congregant care settings.
Phase 3 – can only begin 4-6 weeks after Phase 2 begins
- Guidance for vulnerable populations loosened.
- Restaurants, bars, houses of worship and other businesses can increase capacity.
- The number of people allowed at gatherings further increased.
Other Western North Carolina COVID-19 Cases and Stats:
- Cherokee County: 23 cases, 1 death (As of April 24, 12 people have recovered)
- Clay County: 5 cases (As of April 17, the county reported 2 had recovered so far.)
- Haywood County: 5 cases (As of April 15, the county reports 3 cases have recovered.)
- Henderson County: 158 cases, 13 deaths
- Jackson County: 5 cases
- Macon County: 2 cases reported, including 1 recovery and 1 death, as of April 17
- Madison County: 1 case
- McDowell County: 21 cases
- Mitchell County: 5 cases (including 1 recovery)
- Polk County: 13 cases
- Rutherford County: 111 cases, 4 deaths
- Swain County: 3 cases
- Transylvania County: 7 cases
The only counties in the state that have reported zero COVID-19 cases include Graham, Yancey, Avery, Hyde, and Camden Counties.