Coronavirus (COVID-19) in Asheville, NC
Official Advisories and Updates
Buncombe County has created the Buncombe Ready website as an official resource for Coronavirus (COVID-19) updates and advisories. To get emergency notifications sent straight to your phone, text BCALERT to 888-777.
Cases of COVID-19, a new strain of coronavirus, began popping up in the United States in January. On March 21, 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
- 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.
Older Adults & Medical Conditions – Older adults and people of any age who have serious underlying medical conditions may be at higher risk for more serious complications from COVID-19.
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.
What is a Stay-at-Home Order?
Buncombe County has issued a stay-at-home declaration that goes into effect on Thursday, March 26, 2020, at 8:00 pm. The order is valid through Thursday, April 9, 2020, at 6:00 am. This order is not a total lockdown, and there are several exceptions that allow residents to leave their homes.
Under the order, Buncombe County residents can:
- Go to the grocery and convenience store
- Go to the pharmacy to pick up medications and healthcare necessities
- Visit a health care facility for medical services that cannot be provided virtually (call first!)
- Go to a restaurant, for take-out, delivery, or drive-thru service only
- Care for or support a friend, family member, or pet
- Take a walk, ride your bike, hike, jog (as long as social distancing measures are maintained)
- Walk your pets and take them to the veterinarian
- Help others to get necessary supplies
- Receive deliveries from any business that delivers
Conversely, Buncombe County residents should not:
- Go out at all if they are sick
- Go to work, unless providing essential services as defined by this order
- Visit friends and family if there is no specific, urgent need
- Be closer than 6 feet from others if out in public
- Visit loved ones in the hospital, nursing home, skill nursing facilities, or other residential care facilities, except for limited exceptions as provided by the specific facility
- Travel, except for essential travel and activities.
- Engage in door to door solicitation
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.
Restaurants With Takeout and Delivery
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 and delivery which is updated daily.
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.
Other Local Resources
- Buncombe Ready
- The One Buncombe Assistance Fund
- 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