Buncombe County Public Health has issued a new, Stay Home, Stay Safe Declaration that went into effect at 6 a.m. April 9, in order to bring our community in closer alignment with Gov. Cooper’s Stay Home order. The order includes all municipalities within Buncombe County, to include the City of Asheville, and encourages all residents to continue practicing physical distancing, reduce nonessential travel outside the home, and eliminate gathering in groups of any size.
The new order went into effect this morning and “will remain in effect until it is repealed, replaced or rescinded,” said Fletcher Tove, Buncombe County’s Public Health Emergency Preparedness Director.
Here are links to the order and related guidance:
The City of Asheville would like to take a moment to review how the various State-, County- and City-level States of Emergency impact its residents.
The new “Stay Home, Stay Safe” order aligns with state guidance but is more restrictive in some aspects. For example, retail establishments must install more specific physical distancing measures and post signage with social distancing and hygiene guidelines. Employees should be screened for illness and symptoms of COVID-19 as they report to work. Stores should implement single-direction shopping lanes. And all employers are strongly encouraged to have public-facing employees wear cloth face coverings
Funerals are limited to 10 persons. Guidance was also offered regarding religious gatherings.
Speaking at the announcement with county leaders, including Buncombe County Commission Chair Brownie Newman, Mayor Esther Manheimer said, “Our number one priority is to keep everyone in our community safe. Please, continue to take these measures very seriously.”
Mayor Manheimer also urged residents to continue to check the City’s website for updates on any changes to City services (such as transit services, brush collection) and the County’s website for all information on the COVID-19 response.
“I want to especially thank all the City and County employees who are continuing to work to make sure operations are running and essential services are being delivered,” said Mayor Manheimer. “And I want to give a special shout out to our first responders, police and fire, to our healthcare providers who are showing up day in and day out — you guys are the front line in this battle and I want to thank you for your service to our community.”
On March 12, when the City of Asheville first declared a State of Emergency in connection with the COVID-19 pandemic, it expressly consented to having the terms of Buncombe County’s State of Emergency apply within the City’s jurisdiction. What this means for City residents is that they are required to comply with the terms of both the County- and City-issued States of Emergency. This includes the County’s Stay Home, Stay Safe Order.
In addition, residents must comply with any and all directives issued by the State of North Carolina pursuant to its declared State of Emergency.
This is an evolving situation and information is often changing. For resources on prevention best practices and news updates, visit Buncombe Ready. Additional County guidance is posted on the Buncombe County Health & Human Services website. Information regarding the steps that the State is taking to address the spread of COVID-19 may be found on the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services website.
For information on how to sign up for City and County government alerts, visit this link.