Face Coverings in Buncombe County: From Requirement to “Strongly Recommends” & A Reminder to Get Boosted
ASHEVILLE, NC – At their February 15th meeting, the Buncombe County Board of Commissioners decided not to renew the face cover wearing policy in indoor public spaces. According to Stacie Saunders, the Department of Public Health “strongly recommends” that face masks be worn in indoor public spaces. Businesses, organizations and each local Board of Education can individually decide upon their face mask policy. The Buncombe County Courthouse and some Buncombe County Government facilities will continue to require that face masks be worn for now. Public transportation will require wearing face masks through March 18th.
On February 16, Buncombe County Health and Human Services hosted a virtual media Question & Answer session. Public Health Director, Stacie Saunders, and Board of Commissioners Board Chair, Brownie Newman, answered questions related to the COVID-19 response in Buncombe County. Stacie Saunders said, “I will still wear my face covering in indoor public spaces” and she “strongly recommends” that everyone wear face masks in public schools.
With cases, transmission, and hospitalizations still running at significantly high levels, the Department of Public Health is planning a media campaign to get the word out that they “strongly recommend” that face masks be worn in indoor public spaces. The campaign will be on social media, at Question & Answer sessions with the media, on the Department website, with media partners, and at any other available opportunities just like they do with promoting vaccinations, boosters, and testing.
Brownie Newman describes this latest policy as one of many “not easy decisions” and emanating from “a series of difficult decisions” since the beginning of the COVID crisis. He wants to take the opportunity to let everyone know that he is aware that more people are getting a booster and “encourages everyone to do that.”
Listen to the full report below: