Starting Friday at 5 p.m., North Carolina will move into a modified stay-at-home order, requiring most people to remain in their homes from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. daily. All businesses will be required to close by 10 p.m.; all on-site alcohol consumption must end by 9 p.m.
The county, which had previously prohibited all leisure travel, will now limit reservations to “staycations” for Western North Carolina residents with an 828 area code. Occupancy is restricted to 50%, and visitors who are not part of the same family or household cannot occupy adjacent rooms.
Even as people resume small gatherings, they will be expected to maintain a physical distance of at least 6 feet and follow public health guidance on sanitation and masks. The county’s cap on wedding and funeral attendance remains at 10 people, less than the state limit of 50.
“It’s important to get our economy moving forward. We’re helping with unemployment payments, stimulus money and the businesses that continue to be open,” Gov. Roy Cooper said at an April 23 press conference. “But I won’t risk the health of our people or our hospitals. And easing these restrictions now would do that.”
“I slowed my pace, and after I stopped nagging — I mean, yapping — we all felt more relaxed.”
At a press conference on April 8, Buncombe County Board of Commissioners Chair Brownie Newman signed a new stay-at-home order, set to take effect when the previous order expires at 6 a.m. on Thursday, April 9, that will only expire when it is “repealed, replaced or rescinded.”
“Buncombe County is going to take actions that best safeguard the public health for Buncombe County residents,” said Fletcher Tove, the county’s emergency preparedness coordinator. He confirmed that the county’s more stringent rules would remain in place through at least the morning of Thursday, April 9.