As our community responds to COVID-19, our staff are monitoring the situation and working to bring you information and resources. Please watch this page for news updates and emerging resources.
Although cases per 100,000 per week decreased have decreased some, COVID cases, rates, and percent positivity remain at high levels. Hospitalizations remain level but high and last week, there were 14 COVID-19-related deaths reported in Buncombe County.
Because of sustained high transmission levels, Buncombe County Health and Human Services (BCHHS) recommended extending the indoor face-covering requirement for indoor public spaces until the end of October. Buncombe County Commissioners voted to extend the requirement through Oct. 29, 2021.Read the entire declaration.
This means masks are required in all indoor public spaces for anyone 5 years old and up. Public spaces include: business establishments, offices and workplaces, public transportation facilities and vehicles, and any indoor place the public is invited and allowed to enter and gather. The mask requirement currently extends throughout unincorporated Buncombe County as well as the municipal limits of the City of Asheville, the Town of Montreat, the Town of Woodfin, and the Town of Weaverville.
*Download “mask required” signs below under Business Resources.*
At the same meeting on Sept. 21, the Buncombe County Board of Commissioners approved $500,000 for the One Buncombe Fund to help small businesses & their employees struggling from COVID-related issues.
Here’s what small businesses need to know:
- Applications will be accepted Oct. 1-31. All applications received prior to the deadline will be considered equally.
- Sole proprietorships are eligible for up to $2,500.
- Small businesses with 2-25 full-time equivalent employees are eligible for up to $5,000.
- Selected grant recipients will receive disbursements at the end of November.
- See Business Resources below for more information and tools such as signage to communicate with employees and customers.
- Get vaccinated. It’s easy, safe and effective. About 60% of the total population in Buncombe County is fully vaccinated. Encourage your friends, family and employees to get vaccinated. Anyone 12 and older can get vaccinated, no appointment necessary!
- Wear a mask – even if you are vaccinated. Masks required in indoor public spaces through most of Buncombe County. CDC says: “To maximize protection from the Delta variant and prevent possibly spreading it to others, wear a mask indoors in public if you are in an area of substantial or high transmission.” Buncombe County has a high rate of transmission.
- Wash hands frequently and use hand sanitizer.
- Review the Interim General Guidance for Businesses and Organizations (NCDHHS, 5/20/21) – includes resources for communicating with employees and counteracting misinformation.