Buncombe County has issued a "Stay Home - Stay Safe" supplemental declaration that goes into effect Thursday, March 26, 2020 at 8pm. The declaration (linked here) directs all Buncombe County residents, including Biltmore Forest and all municipality citizens, to limit movements outside of their homes not deemed essential. The declaration is valid through Thursday, April 9, 2020 at 6am.
Interpretive guidance for this supplemental order can be found by clicking this link. This file, and the following information from Buncombe County's website, should be used to guide questions regarding what individuals can and cannot do, and what is essential versus non-essential.
Under this Supplemental Declaration…
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
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
Activities that are considered essential:
In General, activities that fall under these categories. Further details can be found in the Supplemental Declaration itself.
- For health and safety
- To get necessary supplies and services
- For outdoor activities (walking, hiking, golfing, running, cycling, using greenways)
- For work for essential businesses/operations
- To take care of others
What is the difference between “Stay Home – Stay Safe” and “Shelter in Place”?
Under a Stay Home declaration residents can still perform essential services and conduct essential travel. Shelter in Place is a declaration that Buncombe County may use in the future. Shelter in Place only permits Emergency travel and Emergency services, so it is fundamentally more restrictive than a Stay Home order. Buncombe County is not currently planning to enact a Shelter in Place order.
I live outside of Buncombe County. How does this affect me?
If you work in Buncombe County, then your business/employer must comply with this order. You are allowed to travel through Buncombe County and conduct essential activities within Buncombe County and to return home.
What is considered essential travel?
- Any travel related to the provision of or access to essential activities, essential governmental functions, essential businesses and operations, or minimum basic operations.
- Travel to care for elderly, minors, dependents, persons with disabilities, or other vulnerable persons
- Travel to or from education institutions for purposes of receiving materials for distance learning, for receiving meals, and other related services
- Travel to return to a place of residence from outside the jurisdiction
- Travel required by law enforcement or court order, including to transport children pursuant to a custody agreement
- Travel required for non-residents to return to their place of residence outside the County. Individuals are strongly encouraged to verify that their transportation out of the County remains available and functional prior to commencing such travel
Am I allowed to travel?
You are allowed to travel for purposes of essential business and essential activities
Am I allowed to go outside to exercise?
Yes – but maintain social distancing of at least 6 feet from all others.
Can I get arrested for violating this order?
All Buncombe County Law Enforcement entities will enforce the order through education, dialogue, and seeking voluntary cooperation from all residents and businesses. If voluntary cooperation is not achieved Buncombe County Law Enforcement is equipped to enforce these restrictions through citations or misdemeanor charges. Any person violating any prohibition or restriction imposed by this order shall be guilty of a Class 2 misdemeanor.
How do I report a violation of this order?
Report violations to your Local Law Enforcement Agency via a Non-emergency line.
I live in (Woodfin/Black Mountain/Weaverville/Biltmore Forest/Montreat/Asheville) – does this order apply to me?
Yes – this order applies to all residents within Buncombe County.
Does this order apply to the homeless?
No – homeless are exempt from this restriction but are urged to find shelter.