COVID-19 News Update: 9/18/20

September 18, 2020

Here’s a round up of COVID-19 related news for 9/18/20. See our Coronavirus Resource Guide for extensive resources and information. 

Here are the COVID-19 stats for Buncombe County and North Carolina

Buncombe County 

  • Positive cases: 2,850
  • Last week’s number of positive cases: 2,703

North Carolina as a whole 

  • Positive cases: 191,019
  • Last week’s number of positive cases: 182,286

North Carolina public schools now able to implement Plan A for elementary schools

After several weeks of stable COVID-19 trends and continued low virus spread in school settings, Governor Roy Cooper today announced that beginning on October 5, North Carolina public school districts and charter schools can choose to implement Plan A for elementary schools (grades K-5). Plan A continues to include important safety measures like face coverings for all students, teachers and staff, social distancing, and symptom screening, but does not require schools to reduce the number of children in the classroom.

“We are able to open this option because most North Carolinians have doubled down on our safety and prevention measures and stabilized our numbers,” said Governor Roy Cooper. “North Carolinians are doing the hard work to improve our numbers and trends. Many people are wearing masks, keeping social distance and being careful to protect others as well as themselves. We have shown that listening to the science works. And I’m proud of our resolve.”

Read the full press release 

Buncombe County will stop Thursday briefings as metrics stabilize

Coronavirus metrics continued to look good in Buncombe this week as the county’s indicators for spread of the virus held stable.

As of midday Sept. 17, there had been 2,841 cases of the illness in Buncombe residents, including 77 deaths. Health director Stacie Saunders said in an afternoon briefing there have consistently been 16 new cases each day in the county.

The average daily increased peaked at 40 in July.

With metrics stabilizing, health officials have found themselves repeating similar information during Buncombe’s weekly COVID-19 updates held each Thursday afternoon.

Similar information also is shared with county commissioners during their briefing, which takes place at 3 p.m. the first and third Tuesday of each month prior to the board’s 5 p.m. regular meeting. Saunders said officials will stop holding Thursday briefings in October and provide updates only during the commissioner briefings — which, like the Thursday briefings, stream on Facebook Live.

The last Thursday community update will be held Sept. 24.