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Watauga County Suspension of Short-term Rentals Continues; Until the Governor Rescinds Order

COVID-19 (novel coronavirus) continues to be a public health threat our nation, state and local communities are having to respond to and deal with each day. Watauga County and each municipality continue to be proactive in taking the necessary steps to slow the spread of this virus by all appropriate means. 

“As of today, Watauga County has had 8 identified and confirmed cases of COVID-19 among residents. We have been able to keep our count low due in large part to the citizens of Watauga County who have followed the stay at home order, other directives and prevention measures to slow the spread of COVID-19 in our community. Each of us, together, have been able to flatten the curve, and we should all be proud of our work. However, our work is not done,” stated Jennifer Greene, Health Director, AppHealthCare.

“We appreciate the sacrifices each Watauga County citizen has made during this difficult time. The ban of short term rentals and seasonal homeowners and visitors following the county’s 14 day quarantine guidance has worked,” stated Deron Geouque, County Manager.

How to Protect Yourself

  • Practice social distancing which means avoiding gatherings of more than 10 people, keeping 6 feet or more between you and others and remaining at home to the greatest extent possible
  • Frequent hand washing
  • Stay home when you’re sick
  • Keep distance from others who are sick
  • Avoid touching your face
  • Clean and disinfect high touch surfaces in common areas like doorknobs, remotes, lightswitches, tables and handles
  • Wear cloth mask or face covering when out in public where you may be around people like grocery stores or pharmacies – more information about face coverings can be found on the AppHealthCare website.

Yesterday, the Governor extended the stay at home order to May 8th. Restaurants remain only able to provide takeout and many businesses remain closed.

The County’s 14-day quarantine for all residents arriving for overnight stays remains in effect. This means all non-essential residents must bring medical and grocery supplies with them upon arrival. Even if you are only checking on your home for only a few days, you are ordered to self-quarantine for the days you are here. After 14 days of no symptoms, you can then use the essential businesses that are open per the Governor’s order. Social distancing and wearing a face covering in public should be followed after the 14 days.

The closing of short-term rentals for non-essential workers must remain in effect during the Governor’s stay at home order. We know how important tourism is to our beautiful county, and we realize this places a burden on the hotels and short-term rental sector of our economy. We also realize we must continue to take actions to protect the health and safety of our community from this virus.

These requirements are in effect until the Governor rescinds the stay at home order.

Together we will respond and together we will protect each other and public health.

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. 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 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.”