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COVID-19 Updates, Testing and Vaccines

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Buncombe County Reinstates Mask Mandate Requirement for County Facilities

Buncombe County Government County Manager Avril Pinder announced today that employees and visitors to County buildings will be required to wear face masks starting Monday, Aug. 9, regardless of vaccination status.

In the last two weeks, the COVID-19 incidence rate has doubled in Buncombe County. “With the reports that the Delta variant spreads as fast or faster than small pox, the 1918 Flu, or chicken pox, and only slightly more than half of our general population fully vaccinated, it’s imperative we take these measures to help stop the spread of COVID-19,” said Pinder.  

The Centers for Disease Control currently recommends masking indoors in Buncombe County, regardless of vaccination status, due to high level of COVID-19 community transmission.

Buncombe County Government staff also were notified of new requirements that all employees provide proof of vaccination. Effective Aug. 18, unvaccinated staff will be required to provide weekly proof of negative COVID-19 test results. The requirement applies to all workers, including those who are part-time, full-time, regular, temporary, grant-funded, and contract. Those who provide documents for religious or medical vaccine exemptions must continue to provide weekly negative COVID-19 test results.

Free COVID-19 vaccines are available to anyone 12 and older at  Buncombe County Health and Human Services by appointment or walk-in between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. Monday through Friday at 40 Coxe Ave., Asheville. No ID is required. Learn more at www.buncombeready.org.