Watauga County, along with the Towns of Beech Mountain, Blowing Rock, Boone, and Seven Devils are continuing to urge protection of public health through all practical means possible.
Effective March 31, 2020, at 5:00p.m., all residents and non residents of Watauga County arriving for overnight stays are ordered, while present in the County, to self-quarantine for a period of 14 days or until 7 days after symptoms have resolved, whichever is longer, if arrival was preceded by overnights outside the County. The only exceptions to this provision are the commuting “essential” workforce and emergent response as coordinated through the Watauga County Emergency Services Director, AppHealthCare Director, and/or Sheriff and their designees.
Short term rentals have been suspended with some limited exceptions for specifically reducing the spread of the virus. We recognize the rights of residents and non residents and yet, during this time of controlling the spread of a public health pandemic, it is critical that all people comply with public health guidance. This additional measure is intended to reduce exposure to the entire community.
These new guidelines will be incorporated as part of the existing Watauga County State of Emergency that is currently in effect through the course of this public health emergency. While the Governor has placed a statewide order that is in effect, this local order which is more restrictive must be followed. While we are hopeful that people will voluntarily comply, state and local law enforcement will be tasked with enforcement of this order and may result in a Class 2 misdemeanor.
“We understand that all non-permanent property owners have rights, and we are working hard to prevent further impacts of this pandemic in our community,” said Deron Geouque, County Manager.
“It is in the best interest of everyone, to stay in their primary residence and avoid non essential travel at this time, but if they are insistent, we are requiring this period of self-quarantine to protect our broader community,” said Jennifer Greene, Health Director.
People who are at high risk for COVID-19 should stay home to the greatest extent possible to decrease the chance of infection.
Who is at High Risk for COVID-19?
People at high risk include anyone who:
- Is 65 years of age or older
- Lives in a nursing home or long-term care facility
- Have a high-risk condition that includes:
- Chronic lung disease or moderate to severe asthma
- Heart disease with complications
- Compromised immune system
- Severe obesity – body mass index (BMI) of 40 or higher
- Other underlying medical conditions, particularly if not well controlled, such as diabetes, renal failure or liver disease
For more information, visit www.WataugaCounty.org or call (828) 265-8000.
AppHealthCare is available and on-call 24/7 to respond to public health emergencies. To reach us, call (828) 264-4995 anytime and follow the prompts. For more information, visit www.AppHealthCare.com or follow us on Facebook or Twitter.
For more information on COVID-19 (novel coronavirus), please visit the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) website at cdc.gov/coronavirus. North Carolina resources can be found on the Division of Public Health website at ncdhhs.gov/coronavirus.
A COVID-19 toll free helpline has been set up to answer general, non-emergent questions at 1-866-462-3821. To submit questions online, go to www.ncpoisoncontrol.org and select “chat.”