Coronavirus (COVID-19) in Asheville, NC
Official Advisories and Updates
Cases of COVID-19, a new strain of coronavirus, began popping up in the United States in January. On March 21, 2020, the first case in Buncombe County was announced. This page will be continually updated with the latest news as well as a list of local resources.
Asheville COVID-19 Updates
- January 19, 2022 – Buncombe County reports a cumulative total of 40,947 confirmed COVID-19 cases and 468 COVID-related deaths. North Carolina reports a total of 2,147,777 confirmed cases and 20,037 deaths.
- January 18, 2022 – Americans can now sign up to get free home Covid-19 tests from the federal government, one day ahead of the scheduled launch of the program.
- January 7, 2022 – With COVID-19 cases reaching pandemic highs, the N.C. Department of Health and Human Services urges K-12 schools to promote vaccination and boosters for students and staff and require students and staff wear masks indoors.
- January 3, 2022 – The United States hit one million new cases of Covid-19 amid the rapid spread of the Omicron variant, a global record.
- December 17, 2021 – Health experts are warning that the highly contagious COVID-19 variant, Omicron, is expected to cause the greatest surge in COVID-19 infections to date in the coming months.
- December 14, 2021 – North Carolina’s key metrics have all been increasing, including people going to the emergency department with COVID-like symptoms, cases, the percent of tests that are positive, and hospitalizations.
- December 9, 2021 – Eligibility for Pfizer’s COVID-19 booster shot has been expanded to include 16- and 17-year-olds, making safe and effective boosters now available for everyone ages 16 and older.
- December 1, 2021 – The United States identifies its first case involving the Omicron variant.
- November 26, 2021 – The World Health Organization identifies a new variant of concern, naming it Omicron. Research continues to say current vaccines are effective in reducing severe disease and death against all COVID-19 variants.
- November 19, 2021 – The CDC expands its recommendation for booster shots to include all adults ages 18 years and older who received a Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna vaccine at least six months after their second dose.
- November 5, 2021 – Pfizer says its oral COVID-19 antiviral pill Paxlovid is able to reduce a patient’s risk of hospitalization or death by 89%.
- November 3, 2021 – The CDC approves the Pfizer Covid-19 vaccine for children ages 5 to 11.
- October 20, 2021 – The FDA approves J&J and Moderna vaccination boosters.
- October 7, 2021 – NCDHHS announces a significant milestone in the fight against COVID-19: 70% of North Carolinians age 18 and older have received at least one dose of COVID-19 vaccine.
- September 30, 2021 – Buncombe County reports a cumulative total of 25,936 confirmed COVID-19 cases and 395 COVID-related deaths. North Carolina reports a total of 1,395,254 confirmed cases and 16,524 deaths.
- September 24, 2021 – The CDC endorsed the recommendation for Pfizer booster shots for certain at-risk groups, clearing the way for millions of Americans to get a booster. It also endorsed the booster for workers in high-risk settings and those in institutional settings
- September 17, 2021 – An FDA advisory panel recommended Pfizer booster shots for people 65 and older as well as high risk populations.
- September 7, 2021 – Buncombe County reports a cumulative total of 23,001 confirmed cases and 351 deaths. North Carolina reports a total of 1,262,581 positive cases and 14,831 deaths.
- August 31, 2021 – The percent positivity rate climbs to 9.6% and the incidence rate is currently 365 cases per 100,000 per week, more than twice the incidence rate seen at the beginning of August. New cases in individuals younger than 18 years rose to 20% of all new cases in the recent week, up from 14.5% in the previous weeks.
- August 23, 2021 – Pfizer-BioNTech coronavirus vaccine gets full FDA approval.
- August 18, 2021 – North Carolinians who are moderately to severely immunocompromised and received the Moderna or Pfizer immunizations can begin receiving an additional dose of these immunizations to better protect themselves from COVID-19.
- August 12, 2021 – Buncombe County reports a cumulative total of 19,279 positive COVID-19 cases and 332 COVID-related deaths.
- August 10, 2021 – North Carolina announces that weekly COVID-19 hospitalizations among people ages 20-49 are at an all-time high. “The vast majority of our COVID-19 hospitalizations are in unvaccinated people,” said Kody H. Kinsley, Chief Deputy Secretary for Health at NCDHHS.
- July 29, 2021 – North Carolina reports 3,628 new confirmed cases and 1,141 currently hospitalized, with 57% of the adult population being fully vaccinated.
- July 27, 2021 – The CDC updates its mask guidance, recommending that fully vaccinated people wear masks indoors in areas with high transmission of Covid-19.
- July 5, 2021 – Health officials continue to urge vaccination as the hyper-transmissible delta variant gains ground across the country. The delta variant is about 60 percent more transmissible than current dominant strain in the the country.
- June 16, 2021 – State health officials announce an increase urgency for people to get vaccinated against COVID-19 as the more dangerous new Delta variant is rapidly spreading in the United States, including in North Carolina.
- June 10, 2021 – Governor Roy Cooper announces $4 Million Summer Cash and College Tuition drawings to motivate those who have not yet been vaccinated.
- June 3, 2021 – More than 80% of adults 65 and older in the state have received at least one dose of COVID-19 vaccine.
- May 14, 2021 – Gov. Cooper lifts many COVID-19 restrictions following the CDC guidelines announced on May 13. Capacity restrictions are lifted in all settings.
- May 13, 2021 – The CDC announces that fully vaccinated people may now go without masks in mosts places.
- April 30, 2021 – The CDC announces that over 30% of the U.S. population is fully vaccinated against the coronavirus, and more than 43% of the population has received at least one dose of the vaccine.
- April 23, 2021 – The FDA and CDC lift the recommended pause on the Johnson & Johnson (Janssen) COVID-19 vaccine.
- April 15, 2021 – More than one in five Americans have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19.
- April 13, 2021 – U.S. health officials recommend a pause on Johnson & Johnson vaccinations in order to investigate the cause of six cases of rare and severe blood clotting. Out of nearly seven million doses of the vaccine, cerebral venous sinus thrombosis clots were reported in six women under the age of 50 between 6 to 13 days after getting a shot.
- April 7, 2021 – North Carolina expands vaccination eligibility to Group 5. Anyone 16 years and older who wants a safe and effective COVID-19 vaccination is eligible to get one.
- March 17, 2021 – North Carolina expands vaccination eligibility to Group 4, beginning with people with high-risk medical conditions, people experiencing homelessness, and incarcerated people who have not been vaccinated.
- March 5, 2021 – The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services releases guidance stating that K-12 schools should open for in-person instruction.
- March 4, 2021 – Additional frontline essential workers in Group 3 are now eligible for vaccinations in North Carolina.
- February 27, 2021 – The U.S. Food and Drug Administration issued an emergency use authorization (EUA) for a third vaccine, the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, for the prevention of coronavirus disease 2019.
- February 26, 2021 – Governor Cooper lifts the Modified Stay at Home Order and group three essential workers, including teachers, are now eligible to receive vaccinations.
- February 15, 2021 – Buncombe County reports a total of 14,621 confirmed cases and 274 deaths. North Carolina reports a total of 824,352 positive cases, 1,941 current hospitalizations, and 10,501 deaths.
- February 4, 2021 – Buncombe County reports a total of 13,859 confirmed cases and 263 deaths. North Carolina reports a total of 781,802 positive cases, 2,630 current hospitalizations, and 9,728 deaths.
- February 1, 2021 – North Carolina surpasses one million COVID-19 vaccine doses administered. The state launches a Vaccination Dashboard to display the latest vaccination data.
- January 27, 2021 – Governor Cooper extends Phase 3 through at least Feb. 28 as North Carolina continues to administer Covid-19 vaccines across the state. As of Jan. 27, 99.8% of all first doses received by the state were reported as being administered and 859,695 total doses have been administered.
- January 26, 2021 – The capacity for indoor dining in Buncombe County is re-aligned with the state’s restaurant capacity guidelines of 50%, reverting the temporary reduction put in place on January 2, 2021.
- January 23, 2021 – NCDHHS reports the first identified case of B.1.1.7 COVID-19 Variant in North Carolina.
- January 21, 2021 – Buncombe County reports a total of 12,300 confirmed cases and 237 deaths. North Carolina reports a total of 698,099 positive cases, 3,666 current hospitalizations, and 8,339 deaths.
- January 6, 2021 – Buncombe County reports a total of 9,995 confirmed cases and 169 deaths. North Carolina reports a total of 575,396 positive cases, 3,781 current hospitalizations, and 6,996 deaths.
- January 2, 2021 – The capacity for indoor dining in restaurants is lowered to 30% in Buncombe County due to increased spread of COVID-19.
- December 23, 2020 – North Carolina is in the midst of Phase 1a of its vaccination plan, prioritizing health care workers fighting COVID-19 and long-term care staff and residents. Phase 1b will prioritize adults 75 years or older and frontline essential workers.
- December 22, 2020 – Buncombe County begins its first round of COVID-19 vaccinations. A group of paramedics, firefighters, and public health staff working at testing and vaccination sites were the first to receive the vaccine.
- December 18, 2020 – Buncombe County reports a total of 7,520 confirmed cases and 139 deaths. North Carolina reports a total of 466,104 positive cases, 2,824 current hospitalizations, and 6,125 deaths.
- December 14, 2020 – A nurse in Queens, NY, became the first person in the United States outside of a clinical trial to receive an injection of the Pfizer/BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine.
- December 10, 2020 – Buncombe County reports a total of 6,496 confirmed cases and 133 deaths. North Carolina reports a total of 416,083 positive cases, 2,444 current hospitalizations, and 5,714 deaths.
- December 3, 2020 – Buncombe County reports a total of 5,855 confirmed cases and 133 deaths. North Carolina reports a total of 377,231 positive cases, 2,101 current hospitalizations, and 5,410 deaths.
- November 25, 2020 – North Carolina tightens COVID-19 restrictions and enforcement with Executive Order No. 180. Gov. Cooper states, “this is a pivotal moment in our fight against the coronavirus.”
- November 12, 2020 – Buncombe County reports a total of 4,675 confirmed cases and 111 deaths. North Carolina reports a total of 303,454 positive cases, 1,279 current hospitalizations, and 4,706 deaths.
- November 11, 2020 – Governor Cooper extends Phase 3 and limits indoor gatherings to 10 through Dec. 4 in an effort to drive down the state’s COVID-19 metrics.
- November 5, 2020 – Buncombe County reports a total of 4,443 confirmed cases and 109 deaths. North Carolina reports a total of 285,661 positive cases, 1,193 current hospitalizations, and 4,548 deaths.
- October 29, 2020 – Buncombe County reports a total of 4,178 confirmed cases and 104 deaths. North Carolina reports a total of 269,020 positive cases, 1,181 current hospitalizations, and 4,283 deaths.
- October 22, 2020 – Buncombe County reports a total of 3,873 confirmed cases and 100 deaths. North Carolina reports a total of 252,992 positive cases, 1,205 current hospitalizations, and 4,082 deaths.
- October 21, 2020 – Governor Cooper extends Phase 3 for three weeks following troubling spikes in case counts.
- October 15, 2020 – Buncombe County reports a total of 3,674 confirmed cases and 93 deaths. North Carolina reports a total of 238,939 positive cases, 1,140 current hospitalizations, and 3,874 deaths.
- October 8, 2020 – Buncombe County reports a total of 3,439 confirmed cases and 90 deaths. North Carolina reports a total of 225,397 positive cases, 1,051 current hospitalizations, and 3,722 deaths.
- October 2, 2020 – North Carolina moves into Phase 3 which allows movie theaters, amusement parks, arenas, and more to reopen at reduced capacity.
- October 1, 2020 -Buncombe County reports a total of 3,224 confirmed cases and 84 deaths. North Carolina reports a total of 212,909 positive cases, 939 current hospitalizations, and 3,579 deaths. NCDHHS launches free ‘SlowCOVIDNC’ tracing app.
- September 28, 2020 – Students who participate in the in-person learning tract in Buncombe County Schools return to class on an A/B rotation schedule.
- September 24, 2020 – Buncombe County reports a total of 2,954 confirmed cases and 82 deaths. North Carolina reports a total of 198,189 positive cases, 902 current hospitalizations, and 3,356 deaths.
- September 14, 2020 – Buncombe County reports a total of 2,760 confirmed cases and 72 deaths. North Carolina reports a total of 185,781 positive cases, 895 current hospitalizations, and 3,060 deaths.
- September 4, 2020 – North Carolina moves into Phase 2.5 and allows gyms, aquariums, museums and other spaces to open at a reduced capacity for the first time since the pandemic started. Mask mandates and other prevention methods remain in effect.
- September 2, 2020 – Governor Cooper extends 11 pm alcohol curfew through October 2.
- August 24, 2020 – Buncombe County reports a total of 2,298 confirmed cases and 64 deaths. North Carolina reports a total of 156,396 positive cases, 948 current hospitalizations, and 2,535 deaths.
- August 6, 2020 – Buncombe County reports a total of 1,785 confirmed cases and 46 deaths. North Carolina reports a total of 131,267 positive cases, 1,147 current hospitalizations, and 2,092 deaths.
- August 5, 2020 – Gov. Cooper extends “Safer At Home” Phase 2 through September 11. Bars and gyms remain closed during the extension.
- August 3, 2020 – Buncombe County shows sustained community spread according to Buncombe County Public Health.
- July 28, 2020 – Governor Cooper signs Executive Order 153 stopping the sale of alcoholic drinks in restaurants, breweries, wineries, and distilleries at 11 pm.
- July 24, 2020 – Asheville City Schools announces it will begin the new year with remote learning.
- July 17, 2020 – North Carolina extends “Safer At Home” Phase 2 for three more weeks.
- July 16, 2020 – U.S. reports a record 75,600 new daily cases; the number has more than doubled since June 24. Buncombe County reports a total of 952 confirmed cases and a revised total of 42 deaths. North Carolina reports a total of 93,426 positive cases, 1,134 current hospitalizations, and 1,588 deaths.
- July 13, 2020 – Buncombe County reports a total of 846 confirmed cases and a revised total of 32 deaths. North Carolina reports a total of 87,528 positive cases, 1,040 current hospitalizations, and 1,510 deaths.
- July 3, 2020 – North Carolina reports highest one-day increase of COVID-19 positive tests.
- July 1, 2020 – Buncombe County reports a total of 603 confirmed cases and 38 deaths. North Carolina reports a total of 66,513 positive cases, 901 current hospitalizations, and 1,373 deaths.
- June 24, 2020 – North Carolina extends Phase 2 for at least three weeks and announces a face covering requirement.
- June 23, 2020 – Buncombe County reports a total of 509 confirmed cases and 37 deaths. North Carolina reports a total of 54,453 positive cases, 915 current hospitalizations, and 1,251 deaths.
- June 17, 2020 – Buncombe County reports a total of 464 confirmed cases and 35 deaths. North Carolina reports a total of 46,855 positive cases, 846 current hospitalizations, and 1,168 deaths.
- June 11, 2020 – Buncombe County reports a total of 417 confirmed cases and 34 deaths. North Carolina reports a total of 39,481 positive cases, 812 current hospitalizations, and 1,064 deaths.
- June 4, 2020 – Buncombe County reports a total of 374 confirmed cases and 30 deaths. North Carolina sees its biggest one-day increase in positive cases yet, and it reports a total of 31,966 positive cases, 659 current hospitalizations, and 960 deaths.
- May 27, 2020 – Buncombe County reports a total of 279 lab-confirmed cases and 20 deaths. Four outbreaks (of two or more cases) have been identified in long-term care facilities.
- May 22, 2020 – Gov. Cooper moves North Carolina into Phase 2 of easing COVID-19 restrictions.
- May 14, 2020 – Buncombe County is notified of confirmed cases of COVID-19 in two long-term care facilities within the county. Buncombe County reports a total of 134 confirmed cases and 4 deaths.
- May 7, 2020 – Gov. Cooper announces the transition to Phase 1 of slowly easing certain COVID-19 restrictions effective Friday, May 8, at 5:00 pm.
- May 1, 2020 – Buncombe County reports an increased total of 69 cases and 4 deaths. North Carolina reports a total of 10,923 positive cases, 547 current hospitalizations, and 399 deaths.
- April 22, 2020 – Buncombe County reports an increased total of 46 cases and 3 deaths. North Carolina reports a total of 7,220 positive cases, 434 current hospitalizations, and 242 deaths.
- April 15, 2020 – Buncombe County reports a total of 37 cases and 3 deaths as of April 15. North Carolina reports a total of 5,123 positive cases, 431 current hospitalizations, and 117 deaths.
- April 9, 2020 – North Carolina reports a total of 3,651 positive cases, 398 current hospitalizations, and 65 deaths.
- April 4, 2020 – An assisted living community in Hendersonville reports 23 Coronavirus cases linked to residents and staff.
- April 2, 2020 – Buncombe County reports a total of 31 positive cases.
- March 30, 2020 – Governor Cooper issues a statewide stay-at-home order.
- March 28, 2020 – Buncombe County reports its first COVID-19 associated death. The county’s total number of lab-confirmed positive cases increases to 19.
- March 26, 2020 – Buncombe County issues a stay-at-home declaration. The Asheville Citizens Times is providing coverage on what the stay-at-home order means for residents.
- March 25, 2020 – North Carolina reports its first COVID-19 associated deaths.
- March 24, 2020 – Governor Cooper extends school closure to May 15, 2020.
- March 23, 2020 – Buncombe County identifies five additional cases of COVID-19 in county residents, bringing the total to eight.
- March 21, 2020 – Buncombe County has its first resident test positive for COVID-19.
- March 19, 2020 – Buncombe County bans gatherings of 10 or more.
- March 17, 2020 – Governor Cooper orders dine-in service at restaurants and bars closed. Buncombe County opens its first drive-through testing facilities.
- March 12, 2020 – Buncombe County and the City of Asheville declare a local state of emergency.
- March 3, 2020 – North Carolina identifies its first Coronavirus case.
What You Need to Know
Symptoms – These symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure (based on the incubation period of MERS-CoV viruses): fever, cough, and shortness of breath.
Prepare Your Family – The CDC has created a list of what you can do to prepare your family in case COVID-19 spreads in your community.
Restaurants With Takeout, Delivery, and Outdoor Seating
Support Asheville’s large restaurant industry, while responsibly practicing social distancing. We’re all in this together. Visit our list of Asheville restaurants with takeout, delivery, and outdoor patios.
Community Discussion Boards
Know of a resource that’s not on this list? Have a question about the Coronavirus? Visit our Coronavirus COVID-19 discussion forums to share what’s on your mind.
Asheville Volunteer Opportunities
Hands On Asheville-Buncombe has created a community hub focused on Coronavirus specific volunteer opportunities. Both in-person and virtual opportunities are available, and the list is updated daily.
Current opportunities include positions at MANNA FoodBank for packing food boxes and bulk supplies, WNCAP for drivers willing to transport clients to and from their HIV-related medical appointments (as well as for grocery shopping), and Homeward Bound for people willing to assist in food preparation (such as sandwiches and baked goods).
Asheville City Schools
Asheville City Schools (ACS) is maintaining a portal for all school-related Coronavirus updates and advisories.
Food Resources for Families
Asheville City Schools is distributing meals to students each day at various food distribution sites throughout the community.
Additionally, a list of local restaurants and organizations providing meals to families is being maintained and frequently updated.
Other Local Resources
- Buncombe Ready
- Buncombe County’s Community Update Video Archives
- The One Buncombe Assistance Fund
- United Way Resources for Assistance With Food, Utilities, Childcare, Etc.
- NC DHHS
- Asheville Chamber Coronavirus Business Resources
- Mountain BizWorks Recovery Options for Businesses
- Center for Disease Control
- Federal Disaster Unemployment Assistance
- CDC Interim Guidance for Businesses and Employers
- Small Business Association Local Assistance Directory
- Treasury and IRS Tax Guidance
- OSHA Guidance on Preparing Workplaces for COVID-19
Last updated at 3:00 pm on January 19, 2022.