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Watauga County Commissioners Approve Modified Plan to Lift Restrictions Today at 5:00

On May 19th, Watauga County Commissioners approved modifications of their plan to lift the 14-day self-quarantine restriction for those arriving to the county for overnight stays and partially lift the short-term rental restriction in order to align with Governor Cooper’s phased plan for easing restrictions. Effective Friday at 5pm, the 14-day self-quarantine will end and short-term rentals may operate at 50 percent (50%) reduction in the listed maximum occupancy capacity as rated and published. Family members residing in the same residence are exempt from the fifty percent (50%) reduction in maximum capacity limit.  Short-term rentals can operate at 100 percent (100%) capacity once we enter Phase 3 of the Governor’s plan.  Campgrounds shall be subject to the same openings and restrictions as short-term rentals.

“The purpose of this update is to reflect the changes to the Governor’s 3-phase plan and align our plan in response to concerns from our citizens, the business community, and reflect the public health guidance from AppHealthCare. Watauga County Commissioners recognize the need to strike a balance between keeping our citizens and visitors safe and healthy and maintaining a vibrant economy. We will continue to prioritize health and safety and do our part to slow the spread of this virus in our community,” stated John Welch, Chairman, Watauga County Commissioners.

As we enter into Phase 2 of the Governor’s plan on Friday evening, we encourage the community to follow public health guidance to protect yourself and the community.

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 AppHealthCare, call (828) 264-4995 anytime and follow the prompts. AppHealthCare has set up a COVID-19 hotline at 1+ (828) 795-1970 for information during regular business hours. 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 North Carolina Department of Health & Human Services 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.”

Governor Cooper Introduces Safer at Home Phase 2

Governor Cooper and NC DHHS Secretary Dr. Mandy Cohen announced that North Carolina will move to Safer At Home Phase 2 on Friday, May 22 at 5 pm. This order encourages people to continue staying home, especially those at high risk for serious illness, as well as encourages teleworking. North Carolina is guided by the data, which shows that the state’s key indicators and trends are mostly stable. The increase in the daily case counts signal a need to take a more modest step forward in Phase 2 than originally envisioned.

“This virus is still a serious threat to our state. But North Carolinians have made changes – and sacrifices – in their daily lives. And that has helped to flatten the curve here,” Governor Cooper said. “Today, we are announcing another gradual and cautious step while still keeping important health and safety measures in place.”

Phase 2 adjusts restrictions allowing certain businesses to open at 50% capacity with social distancing and increased hygiene practices in place. Retail businesses will continue to operate under the provisions of Phase 1. Childcare services will also be allowed to open to all families with enhanced cleaning and screening requirements.

Some businesses will remain closed in Phase 2 including bars, night clubs, gyms, bowling alleys, indoor fitness facilities, and movie theaters. Mass gathering limits in Phase 2 will be no more than 10 people indoors or 25 people outdoors in most circumstances.

The Safer At Home Phase 2 runs through at least Friday, June 26. DHHS public health recommendations are provided online for various sectors.

The three Ws are even more important now. So remember – wash your hands frequently, wait six feet apart from other people, and wear a face covering.

Read Executive Order 141 and the FAQs.

Read the Press Release.

View the slide presentation.