To further minimize all opportunities for exposure and transmission of COVID-19 across the jurisdiction, Buncombe County issued a “Stay Home – Stay Safe” Supplemental Declaration that went into effect Thursday, March 26, 2020, at 8 pm and has been extended indefinitely.
All current Buncombe County residents, including Woodfin, Black Mountain, Weaverville, Biltmore Forest, Montreat and Asheville citizens, are ordered to stay in place at their residence and to limit movements outside of their homes that are not deemed essential.
Although the weather is getting nicer and we live in a beautiful place, PLEASE remember to not use that as a reason to gather with anyone outside of your household – That includes rafting, mountain biking and picnicking. Get fresh air and exercise but don’t forget social distancing measures! Limit the number of people in a room, maintain a distance of 6 feet between one another, wash your hands, and reduce your exposure as much as possible!
New details of the declaration were released April 8 in a public announcement by county officials:
– Auto sales are now considered essential but have to be conducted by appointment.
- Services should be conducted remotely to the extent possible
- No more than 10 people can gather and six-foot social distancing must be observed
- No test drives are permitted unless expressly requested by the purchaser and vehicles have to be completely sanitized before and after each drive with documentation of the cleaning
- A vehicle can’t be driven again by a potential customer for 72 hours.
– Real estate agents can now conduct business.
- They follow the Centers for Disease Control guidelines and local orders on physical distancing, hygiene and sanitation practices.
– Hotels, short term vacation rentals and other lodging must cancel all leisure travel reservations though current guests can stay.
- County residents and people on essential business can be customers, though the essential nature of the business must be documented by lodging operators.
– Weddings and funerals can happen
- Though only 10 people can attend, including officiants and staff – This overrides the state rule allowing 50 people
- Social distancing must be observed
- There is NO curfew
- All non-essential businesses must cease.
- Essential businesses must still comply with the social distancing guidelines; 6 feet apart and takeout, delivery and/or drive-through only.
- Essential Businesses must continue to comply with the guidance and directives for maintaining a clean and safe work environment issued by the Department of Health i.e. social distancing and sanitation practices.
- If you work in Buncombe County, then your business/employer must comply with this order.
- Workers at essential businesses will NOT be required to show any documentation of their employment as they travel to and from their jobs.
- Religious services must only meet via video or telecom; there must be less than 10 people at the establishment to perform the service.
- All elective medical procedures have been prohibited in Buncombe County.
- The houseless are exempt from this restriction – But are urged to find shelter.
- The county is NOT setting up checkpoints or roadblocks.
- Law enforcement response to violations of the statute are complaint-driven – If you would like to report a violation of the local statute, please do so on a NON-emergency line.
- If voluntary cooperation is not achieved, Buncombe County Law Enforcement is equipped to enforce these restrictions through citations or misdemeanor charges.
Buncombe County residents CAN:
- Go to the grocery and convenience store
- Go to the pharmacy to pick up medications and healthcare necessities
- Visit a health care facility for medical services that cannot be provided virtually (call first!)
- Go to a restaurant, for take-out, delivery, or drive-thru service only
- Care for or support a friend, family member, or pet
- Take a walk, ride your bike, hike, jog (as long as social distancing measures are maintained)
- Walk your pets and take them to the veterinarian
- Help others to get necessary supplies
- Receive deliveries from any business that delivers
Buncombe County residents CAN NOT:
- Go out at all if they are sick
- Go to work, unless providing essential services
- Visit friends and family if there is no specific, urgent need
- Be closer than 6 feet from others if out in public
- Visit loved ones in the hospital, nursing home, skill nursing facilities, or other residential care facilities, except for limited exceptions as provided by the specific facility
- Travel, except for essential travel and activities.
- Engage in door-to-door solicitation
- Engage in public or private social gatherings (any amount of people)
- For health and safety
- To get necessary supplies and services
- For outdoor activities (walking, hiking, golfing, running, cycling, using greenways)
- For work for essential businesses/operations
- To take care of others
- Any travel related to the provision of or access to essential activities, essential governmental functions, essential businesses and operations, or minimum basic operations.
- Travel to care for the elderly, minors, dependents, persons with disabilities, or other vulnerable persons
- Travel to or from educational institutions for purposes of receiving materials for distance learning, for receiving meals, and other related services
- Travel to return to a place of residence from outside the jurisdiction
- Travel required by law enforcement or court order, including to transport children pursuant to a custody agreement
- Travel required for non-residents to return to their place of residence outside the County. Individuals are strongly encouraged to verify that their transportation out of the County remains available and functional prior to commencing such travel
Essential Health Care Operations:
- Research and laboratory services
- Walk-in-care health facilities
- Emergency veterinary and livestock services
- Medical wholesale and distribution
- Home health care workers or aides for the elderly
- Doctor and emergency dental
- Nursing homes, or residential health care facilities or congregate care facilities
- Medical supplies and equipment manufacturers and providers
- Blood drive and blood collection sites
- Utilities including power generation, fuel supply and transmission
- Public water and wastewater
- Telecommunications and data centers
- Transportation infrastructure such as roads, bus, rail, or for-hire vehicles, garages
- Hotels and places of accommodation
- Food processing, manufacturing agents, including all foods and beverages
- Medical equipment/instruments
- Sanitary products
- Household paper products
- Grocery stores including all food and beverage stores
- Convenience stores
- Farmer’s markets
- Gas stations
- Restaurants/bars (but only for take-out/delivery)
- Hardware and building material stores
- Trash and recycling collection, processing and disposal
- Mail and shipping services
- Credit unions
- House cleaning
- Building cleaning and maintenance
- Child care services
- Auto repair
- Warehouse/distribution and fulfillment
- Funeral homes, crematoriums and cemeteries
- Storage for essential businesses
- Animal shelters
- News Media
- Notary public
- Services related to financial markets
- Technology support for online services
- Child care programs and services
- Government-owned or leased buildings
- Essential government services
Providers of basic necessities to economically disadvantaged populations are also exempt from this declaration, including:
- Homeless shelters and congregate care facilities
- Food banks
- Human services providers whose function includes the direct care of patients in state-licensed or funded voluntary programs; the care, protection, custody and oversight of individuals both in the community and in state-licensed residential facilities; those operating community shelters and other critical human services agencies providing direct care or support
Essential Services Necessary to Maintain the Safety, Sanitation and Essential Operations of Residences or Other Essential Businesses, including:
- Skilled trades such as electricians, plumbers and other related construction firms and professionals for essential infrastructure, including public works, roads and bridges, or for emergency repair and safety purposes.
- Defense and national security-related operations supporting the U.S. Government or a contractor to the US government, to include the Defense Industry Base’s (DIB) Essential Critical Infrastructure
- Law enforcement
- Fire prevention and response
- Building code enforcement
- Emergency management and response
- General maintenance whether employed by the entity directly or a vendor
- Automotive repair
The declaration will be regularly monitored and evaluated which may lead to revision, amendment or extension.
To review the entire declaration click here.