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Buncombe Stay Home - Stay Safe Supplemental Declaration and Interpretive Guidance

NOTICE: View New Stay Safe-Stay Home Local Order Article

March 26, 2020

Buncombe County has issued a Stay Home, Stay Safe Supplemental Declaration to the local State of Emergency that goes into effect Thursday, March 26, 2020 at 8 p.m. The intent of this supplemental declaration is to further minimize all opportunities for exposure and transmission of COVID-19 across the jurisdiction. This declaration directs all Buncombe County residents to “Stay Home – Stay Safe” and to limit movements outside of their homes that are not deemed essential. This declaration is valid through Thursday, April 9, 2020, at 6 a.m., but will be regularly reviewed and evaluated which may lead to revision, amendment or extension.

Supplemental Declaration: Interpretive Guidance

This is intended as interpretive guidance to assist the public’s understanding and interpretation of the Supplemental Declaration. It summarizes what Buncombe County Citizens can do and should not do. Please read the official Supplement above. It draws distinction between essential and non-essential travel. It defines and summarizes what businesses are deemed essential vs. non-essential. It attempts to answer some Frequently Asked Questions.


Supplemental Declaration March 19 

Local State of Emergency declared March 12

For purposes of this Declaration, “Essential Businesses” is defined as follows:
i. Essential Healthcare Operations. Healthcare operations, including hospitals, clinics, dentists, pharmacies, pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies, other healthcare facilities, healthcare suppliers, mental health providers, substance use disorder service providers, blood banks, medical research, laboratory services, or any related and/or ancillary healthcare services. Home-based and residential-based care for seniors, adults, or children are also considered healthcare operations. Healthcare operations also includes veterinary care and all health and welfare services provided to animals. This exemption shall be viewed broadly to avoid any impacts to the delivery of healthcare. Healthcare operations do not include fitness and exercise gyms and similar facilities. Healthcare operations do not include elective medical, surgical, and dental procedures as established in accordance with Subsection 8 of this Order.

ii. Essential Government Functions. All services provided by local governments needed to ensure the continuing operation of the government agencies to provide for the health, safety and welfare of the public. Further, nothing in this order shall prohibit any individual from performing or accessing “Essential Government Functions.” All Essential Government Functions shall be performed in compliance with social distancing requirements of six feet, to the extent possible.

iii. Essential Critical Infrastructure. Work necessary to the operations and maintenance of the 16 critical infrastructure sectors as identified by the National Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Agency (CISA) including public works construction, residential and commercial construction, airport operations, water, sewer, gas, electrical, oil refining, roads and highways, public transportation, solid waste collection and removal, internet, and telecommunications systems (including the provision of essential global, national, and local infrastructure for computing services, business infrastructure, communications, and web-based services), financial institutions, defense and national security-related operations, essential manufacturing operations provided that they carry out those services or that work in compliance with social distancing requirements of six feet, to the extent
possible. Essential Businesses providing essential infrastructure should implement screening precautions to protect employees and all activity shall be performed in compliance with social distancing guidelines attached.

iv. Essential Retail. Food service providers, including grocery stores, warehouse stores, big-box stores, bodegas, liquor stores, gas stations and convenience stores, farmers markets that sell food products and household staples. Food cultivation, including farming, fishing, and livestock. Businesses that ship or deliver groceries, food, goods or services directly to customers. Restaurants and other facilities that prepare and serve food, but only for delivery or carry out. Schools and other entities that typically provide free services to students or members of the public on a pick-up and take-away basis only. The restriction of delivery or carry out does not apply to cafes and restaurants located within hospital and medical facilities. Laundromats, dry cleaners, and laundry service providers. Gas stations, auto-supply, auto and bicycle repair, hardware stores, and related facilities. Businesses that supply products needed for people to work from home.

v. Educational Institutions facilitating distance learning. Educational institutions, including public and private K-12 schools, colleges, and universities, for purposes of facilitating distance learning, performing critical research, or performing essential functions that are needed or appropriate for continuing operations or addressing the public health emergency, provided that social distancing is maintained to the greatest extent practicable. Each educational institution shall determine its essential functions and the employees and/or contractors necessary to the performance of those functions.

vi. Providers of Basic Necessities to Economically Disadvantaged Populations. Businesses that provide food, shelter, and social services, and other necessities of life for economically disadvantaged or otherwise needy individuals. This includes adult day cares.

vii. Essential Services Necessary to Maintain Essential Operations of Residences or Other Essential Businesses. Trash and recycling collection, processing and disposal; mail and shipping services; building cleaning, maintenance and security; warehouse/distribution and fulfillment; storage for essential businesses; funeral homes, crematoriums and cemeteries. Plumbers, electricians, exterminators, and other service providers who provide services that are necessary to maintaining the safety, sanitation, and essential operations of residences and Essential Businesses. Professional services, such as legal or accounting services, when necessary to assist in compliance with legally mandated activities, contractual obligations, and end of life directives. Businesses that supply other essential businesses with support or supplies needed to operate.

viii. News Media. Newspapers, television, radio, and other media services.

ix. Childcare Services. Childcare facilities providing services that enable employees exempted in this Order to work as permitted.

x. All Businesses may maintain Minimum Basic Operations. For purposes of this declaration, Minimum Basic Operations include the following, provided that employees comply with Social Distancing Requirements, to the greatest extent feasible, while carrying out such operations: 1. The minimum necessary activities to maintain the value of the business’s inventory, preserve the condition of the business’s physical plant and equipment, ensure security, process payroll and employee benefits, or for related functions. 2. The minimum necessary activities to facilitate employees of the business being able to continue work remotely from their residences, for example one employee going to the office for administrative work so that all others may continue to work remotely.

Table: News Item Documents
File NameSizeTypeDate & Time Added
Executed Supplemental Declaration 962 KB 03/26/2020 10:46 AM
Stay Safe-Stay Home Updated 330 KB 03/25/2020 6:30 PM
Spanish 676 KB 03/26/2020 12:46 PM
Russian 456 KB 03/27/2020 4:02 PM
Supplemental Guidance-Russian 875 KB 04/08/2020 10:09 AM

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Article Information

Updated Apr 08, 2020 05:00 PM
Published Mar 25, 2020 03:00 PM