City of Asheville Amends State of Emergency Proclamation; Public Gatherings Limited to No More Than Ten People

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In alignment with Buncombe County, Asheville Mayor Esther Manheimer signed a newly amended State of Emergency proclamation for the City of Asheville on March 19, based on the public health emergency posed by COVID-19.

This proclamation limits public gatherings on property owned by the City of Asheville to no more than 10 people.

The new order adheres to new guidance issued by the White House March 16. It also aligns with increased measures issued March 19 by Buncombe County that limits gatherings of 10 people, including at gyms, fitness centers and exercise facilities, indoor pools, spas, movie theaters, live performance document Emergency proclamation update venues and arcades. It does not include normal operations at medical facilities, airports, bus and train stations, shopping malls, office environments, factories, and child care centers.

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The Buncombe County order applies to the six municipalities within the county, including Asheville.

The goal is to increase social distancing in a community-wide effort to slow the spread of the COVID-19 virus.

According to the CDC, 170,000 confirmed cases of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) have been reported globally, including an estimated 7,000 deaths in approximately 150 countries. On March 11, the World Health Organization declared the COVID-19 outbreak a pandemic.

Nationwide and locally, including in Asheville, the top priority is to minimize the spread of COVID-19 and avoid overwhelming our healthcare network. And that is primarily being done through social distancing measures.

Toward that end, City Hall and other municipal buildings were closed to the public as of March 17. Employees who are able to complete their work offsite during this COVID-19 public health emergency are working remotely in a telecommuting mode. Staff have remote access to hold meetings, respond to phone calls and emails.

All essential police, fire, sanitation, transit and water services are being maintained as we continue to serve and protect this community.

On Sunday, March 22, Buncombe County Health and Human Services (BCHHS) identified additional cases of the novel coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19) in Buncombe County residents. These additional cases mean that there are now three known cases of COVID-19 in Buncombe County residents and one COVID-19 case associated with a traveler to Buncombe County.

This is an evolving situation and information is often changing. For resources on prevention best practices and news updates, visit Buncombe Ready. Guidance is also posted on the Buncombe County Health & Human Services website.

For information on how to sign up for city and county government alerts, visit this link.