(828) 898-5605 info@averycounty.com

Avery County Government Press Release

01 April 2020

COVID-19 Response

Avery County Government Orders Citizens and Visitors for Overnight Stays to Self-Quarantine for 14 Days; Extends time on Short-Term Rentals Suspension

The Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic continues to pose a looming threat to the health and safety of the people of Avery County.  Avery County Government continues to be proactive in taking the necessary steps to slow the spread of the disease through all appropriate means.

Effective Wednesday, April 1, 2020 at 1:00 p.m., all residents and non-residents of Avery County arriving for overnight stays are ordered, while present in the County, to self-quarantine for a period of 14 days or 7 days after symptoms have resolved, whichever time period is longer, if arrival was preceded by overnights outside the County.  The only exceptions to this provision are the commuting “essential” workforce and emergency response responders and workers as coordinated through the Avery County Office of Emergency Management, the Avery County Emergency Management Director, the Toe River Health Department Director, and/or the Avery County Sheriff and their designees.

Effective Wednesday, April 1, 2020 at 1 p.m., all Lodging Facilities, including, but not limited to, hotels, motels, resorts, inns, guest houses, bed and breakfasts, campgrounds, RV Parks, vacation cabins, home rentals and any and all rentals or leases by Air-BnB, Homeway, VRBO and other rental programs or places where leases or use of any are for less than one month duration, shall be closed in Avery County, including in its incorporated municipalities, EXCEPT the exemptions as hereinafter set forth. 

Exemptions

  1. Work-related Exemptions:  This closure does not apply if a lease or extended overnight accommodation is due to work here in Avery County for business, medical construction, emergency services or other related services.  In this situation, the employee staying at the lodging facility should have their employer provide their work related identification badge or a letter from employer stating the purpose of the work to be performed in Avery County and the expected duration of the stay.
  2. Homeless shelter: This closure does not apply to lodging facilities need to house the homeless in an emergency or otherwise.
  3. Emergency Facility: This closure does not apply to a lodging facility if used as an emergency facility to assist with COVID-19 response.

This provision is to remain in effect until April 29, 2020 unless modified or extended.

By and with consent of the mayors of the municipalities within Avery County, this provision pertaining to lodging facilities applies within the municipal limits of Banner Elk, Beech Mountain, Crossnore, Elk Park, Newland, Village of Grandfather Mountain and Seven Devils.  Upon the consent of the mayor or Board of the Village of Sugar Mountain, this provision shall apply to such municipality.    

Thank you for your patience and understanding as together, we beat this disease.

If you are the owner of a business and have any questions or concerns, please call Phillip Barrier, County Manager at 828-733-8201.

Click here to read the Declaration of a Local State of Emergency.

From the County of Avery, Office of the County Manager

March 26, 2020

To our valuable Avery County Resort Communities:

Avery County Government takes great pride in providing the best governmental services to all its citizens. However, the COVID-19 pandemic continues to pose a threat to the Health and Safety of our citizens. This week we watched North Carolina’s infected numbers go from 123 to 636 and all bordering counties now report cases.

At this time, Avery County Government, Emergency Management, the Avery County Health Department, and Cannon Hospital suggest that it may be in the best interest of our part-time residents to stay at their current permanent residence so that the resources in the County are not strained. It is not required, but we hope that part-time residents who need to come to their homes self-quarantine for a period of fourteen (14) days. This does not mean they cannot get outside to walk and enjoy the fresh air but they would practice cautious social distancing. Many of our grocers are offering online pick-up service. Please share the tips from the Avery County Health Department enclosed with this letter. Unfortunately, the likelihood of vital resources becoming limited in Avery County is certain. While as of today we have no confirmed positive cases of COVID-19, the medical professionals’ opinion is “it is only a matter of days.” The stress on emergency services staff and equipment with our current population will be at a critical stage.

Please understand that Avery County will continue our service to all citizens but we just wanted to inform you of our concerns.

Sincerely,
Phillip Barrier, Jr.
County Manager

 

COVID-19 Response – Local State of Emergency

Avery County Government Suspension of All Short-Term Rentals Effective Immediately

The Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic continues to pose a looming threat to the health and safety of the people of Avery County.  Avery County Government continues to be proactive in taking the necessary steps to slow the spread of the disease through all appropriate means.

Effective Wednesday, March 25, 2020 at 5:00 p.m., Avery County government, the Health Department, Emergency Management, and Sheriff’s Office are requiring that lodging facilities, for example, air bed and breakfasts, campgrounds, timeshare units, condos, motels, hotels, and other rental programs or places where leases or rentals are for less than one month in duration, be suspended in Avery County until April 18, 2020. This action is consistent with actions taken by other communities across the state and nation to slow the spread of the COVID-19 virus due to human travel.

Human travel promotes the spread of this disease and the presence of visitors in Avery County has the potential to exacerbate the spread of the virus and the anticipated strain on our limited healthcare facilities caused by it. This suspension is to assist in preventing the spread of the COVID-19 virus in a manner and at a pace that overwhelms the County’s ability to respond effectively in the coming days.

Exemptions are allowed for work related stays, emergency facilities and homeless shelters. We understand that rentals for work related stays for construction workers or other essential services already in place will need to continue.

We also recognize the need to allow the use of hotels and other facilities for emergency service workers, essential service workers, displaced residents needing shelter, and other response and mitigation efforts related to COVID-19 in the coming days and weeks.

We realize that this places a burden on the hotel accommodations and short-term rental sector of our economy and this requirement is not made lightly.

This requirement is in effect until April 18, 2020, but the County will be constantly monitoring the need for this and may lift the requirement earlier if it is not needed to protect the public health.

Thank you for your patience and understanding as together, we beat this pandemic.

If you are the owner of a business and have any questions or concerns, please call Phillip Barrier, County Manager at 828-733-8201.

Click here to read the official declaration.

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