Skip to Main Content

COVID-19 Updates and Testing

Stay up to date

Department of Health News

Buncombe County's Stay Safe, Stay Smart Order Update

October 1, 2020 Update

Buncombe County officials continue to take proactive steps to keep our community safe and healthy during the COVID-19 Coronavirus pandemic.

The State of North Carolina will transition to Phase 3 of reopening beginning at 5 p.m. on October 2, 2020. Buncombe County and all of its municipalities will adopt Executive Order 169 with no additional local requirements. Phase 3 will last three weeks, and is currently scheduled to end on October 23. Local leaders and public health officials will continue to monitor trends in Buncombe County to ensure that the move to phase 3 does not push local trends in a negative direction. 

Under Executive Order 169, current mask mandates and other precautions will remain in place, but new provisions will include:

  • Large outdoor venues with seating greater than 10,000 may operate with 7% occupancy for spectators. 
  • Smaller outdoor entertainment venues, like arenas or amphitheaters, may operate outdoors at 30% of outdoor capacity, or 100 guests, whichever is less. 
  • Movie theaters and conference centers may open indoor spaces to 30% of capacity, or 100 guests, whichever is less.
  • Bars may operate outdoors at 30% of outdoor capacity, or 100 guests, whichever is less. 
  • Amusement parks may open at 30% occupancy, outdoor attractions only. 
  • The limits on mass gatherings will remain at 25 people indoors and 50 people outdoors. 
  • The 11 p.m. curfew on alcohol sales for in-person consumption in locations such as restaurants and outdoor bars will be extended to October 23. 

If you have any questions about this new order, please reach out to our Ready Team Monday-Friday between 8:30 a.m.-5 p.m. Call  (828) 419-0095 or email 

Download Buncombe County's Emergency Declaration In The Following Languages: