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COVID-19 Updates, Testing and Vaccines

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COVID-19 Vaccine Information

Buncombe County residents ages 65 and older and all health care workers can now join the COVID-19 vaccinations wait list.

Current Stages

Adults 65 and older

Join Wait List

All health care workers

Join Wait List

Other phases

The wait lists for other phases are not currently open.

Other Phases

Additional Information

While it is uncertain the total number or type of vaccines Buncombe County Health and Human Services will receive from the state each week, our staff will make appointments as vaccines become available by contacting individuals on the wait list. Vaccines are free, and staff will never ask you for payment or personally identifiable information like social security numbers.

Additional Assistance by Phone

Additional Assistance by Phone Adults 65 and older and all health care workers can get assistance being placed on the wait list by calling 828-250-5000 between the hours of 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. To help residents stay safe at home and prevent the spread of COVID-19, there is no in-person wait list assistance

COVID-19: Coronavirus

Quicklinks

COVID-19 Immunization COVID-19 Dashboard COVID-19 Self Checker COVID-19 Newsletter Sign Up Testing Frequently Asked Questions Community Resources Volunteer Community Connect Stay Safe Order Community Updates

Buncombe County has been monitoring Coronavirus/COVID-19 since it was first announced as a potential threat. The health and safety of our community is our highest priority. As such, our Public Health department is partnering with the NC Department of Health and Human Services, health care providers, and first responders to watch and respond to this evolving situation. The content on this page was last updated on: Tuesday, January 26, 2021 10:43 AM

For people who have questions about COVID-19 in Buncombe County, please call (828) 419-0095.

Upcoming Events


Coronavirus/COVID-19 News & Information

Upcoming Events

View upcoming COVID-19 testing events in Buncombe County, NC.

Coronavirus/COVID-19
Questions & Concerns

To help address your questions, Buncombe County and the City of Asheville are operating the Ready Team call center. The Ready Team call center is an extension of the Emergency Operations Center. It is focused on business and general questions about COVID-19 and the Stay Safe, Stay Home Order. The Ready Team can direct you to the best source for the information that you need. To ensure that there are options for Spanish, Russian, and multiple other languages, the Ready Team is working with the United Way’s 211 Call Center. The Ready Team call center operates Monday-Friday from 8am - 5pm, call (828) 419-0095 or email ready@buncombecounty.org.

Buncombe County Businesses and Citizen Frequently Asked Questions

Vaccines

Who can get the vaccine at this time?
The State of North Carolina has determined priority for phases. Currently individuals in groups 1 and 2 are eligible for vaccines. The next group eligible to be vaccinated will be frontline essential workers. A description of who is included in that phase and a time estimate for this phase will be shared when available.
How do I get on the wait list?
Go to www.buncombeready.org and if you are an adult 65 and older or a health care worker, click on the Join Wait List buttons. As the state opens up new phases, those wait lists will be opened up.
Can I get a COVID-19 Vaccine from Buncombe County Health and Human Services without an appointment?
No. Everyone must make an appointment to receive the COVID-19 vaccine from Buncombe County Health & Human Services. Because quantities of the vaccine are limited at this time, appointments help ensure that sufficient quantities of vaccine are available at each location.
Do I need to join the wait list for a second dose of the vaccine?
No. When you get your first vaccine, you will get a card with instructions for receiving your second dose in a drive through clinic.
I am having trouble getting on the wait list or getting an appointment. Why?
At this time the demand for the vaccine is very high, with significant traffic on our phones and website. The demand for vaccines is higher than the number of doses we receive from the state, so vaccine appointments are limited each week. We hope to receive larger quantities of the vaccines soon.
How can I get notified about vaccine news?
Text “BCAlert” to 888-777 to receive text message alerts, or sign up for the COVID-19 newsletter.
I got my first COVID-19 vaccine. How do I schedule my second?
If you received that first dose from Buncombe County Health and Human Services prior to Jan. 20, you’ll be contacted directly using the information you shared when you received your first dose. If you were vaccinated on or after Jan. 20, follow the instructions for a drive-through clinic that were given to you at the time of your first vaccine. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that you schedule your second shot three weeks after your first Pfizer dose, or 1 month after your first Moderna dose. You can receive your second shot any time after the recommended date and it will not affect the success of the vaccine.
Does Buncombe County have drive through vaccine clinics?
At this time, the only drive through clinics are for those receiving their second doses.
Is Buncombe County HHS the only vaccine provider in Buncombe County?
No. At this time, Mission Health/HCA also receives doses for administration within their system. Soon the state will bring on community partners, and we’ll update this information as those are brought online.
Is there a charge to receive the vaccine from the County?
No. The vaccine is offered at no charge at this time; however, if you have health insurance, please present that card when you check in for your first dose.
Who do I call if I have general questions about the vaccine?
You can call the Buncombe County Ready Team at 250-5000 between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. You can also view the state’s information at www.nc.gov/covid19

General Community

Click here to link to the Buncombe Ready COVID-19 Self-Checker.
Click here for information about testing in Buncombe County.

Residents and visitors to Buncombe County who see a business that is either unlawfully open or is in violation of Executive Order 181 should report the business to the Ready Team. Call the Ready Team at (828) 419-0095 or email ready@buncombecounty.org.

Law enforcement's goal is to achieve compliance by educating business owners and their customers about the importance of wearing a face covering. However, if businesses continue to violate the order, further action may be taken.

Customers in violation of Executive Order Number 181 will also be asked by law enforcement to put on a face covering while in public. If customer refuses to do so, they will get a citation and may face a class 2 misdemeanor charge.

Unemployment

To find information about current local employment opportunities, please visit NC Works

Outdoor Activities

Click here for information on Buncombe County Parks.

Click here for information on Asheville City Parks.

We encourage all residents to enjoy time outside. As long as all residents are practicing social distancing, maintaining proper sanitation, and staying home if you are sick. To learn more about these guideline, please visit the CDC’s website at cdc.gov.

Business Sector

All lodging in Buncombe County is open with no restrictions. We do ask that all visitors to our county respect the mandate to wear a face covering in public. Additionally, we ask that all visitors wait 6 feet apart from others and wash their hands regularly. These are the steps all of us must take to reduce the impact of COVID-19 in our community.

Click here to see the CDC’s public health recommendation for business that are reopening.
Click here for a comprehensive outline about responding to COVID-19 in your business.

Restaurants

All restaurants still offering takeout service in Buncombe County are mandated to follow proper food preparation standards. These guidelines include:

  • Continually disinfect frequently-touched surfaces using guidelines provided by the CDC.
  • Delegate all staff to have separate responsibilities in order to reduce the risk of transmission and ensure every facility is maintaining proper social distancing practices.
  • Employees will package all meal items, (including drink) for customers to reduce the number of people touching items in the facility.
  • All staff should be wearing disposable gloves that are changed when employee changes task, gloves are ripped, or gloves become visibly soiled. Hand washing will occur when gloves are changed.

Travel

No. COVID-19 is still here and cases continue to increase. We are encouraging all residents to stay in their homes as much as possible, especially when sick, to reduce the impact of COVID-19 in our community.

Yes. According to Executive Order 181, all North Carolinians and visitors to North Carolina are mandated to wear a face-covering while in public spaces. Wearing a face covering is also required outside when it is not possible to consistently maintain a physical distance of 6 feet between non-household members. Exceptions to this rule include people with medical conditions that prevent covering the mouth and nose, children under 5 years of age, and people who are walking or exercising outside. Wearing a face covering is a simple, yet powerful way to reduce the spread of COVID-19 and keeps our residents and visitors safe.

Click here to learn more about face coverings.

Click here for FAQ’s about face coverings.

Yes. All states are open to travelers but some states and counties may still have special requirement for visitors. Be sure to call the health department for the county in which you are visiting to make sure you understand their restrictions. You could also visit their website. If there is no special guidance, it is still important to wear a face covering, wash your hands, and practice physical distancing when out in public. If there is special guidance, make sure you fully understand it and plan ahead.

Click here for general traveling tips and considerations during COVID-19.

No. There is no national quarantine order at this time so inter-county and inter-state travel is allowed. Visitors to North Carolina and Buncombe County are required to wear a face covering in indoor and outdoor public spaces. We also ask that you follow all public health guidance by maintaining physical distancing, washing your hands regularly, and staying home if you are sick.

Call ahead to make sure the business you would like to visit is open to the public. While many businesses have decided to open up, many are still closed. Be sure to call ahead to confirm that they are open before making the trip.

Click here to contact the Buncombe County Convention and Visitors Bureau.

Ask an Expert

Buncombe County Health and Human Services Interim Public Health Director, Dr. Mullendore: Public Health and COVID-19

COVID-19 Frequently Asked Questions

Notice: BCHHS Public Health Preparedness is here as a resource. If you have additional non-medical questions about Coronavirus/COVID-19 preparedness planning, please email us with the form below.

Contact

Public Health
P:(828) 250-5000
40 Coxe Avenue
Asheville, NC 28801

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