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COVID-19 Update

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Information and Preparedness

Updated: Friday, May 29, 2020 5:31 PM

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COVID-19 Self Checker NEW Reopening Guidance Questions & Concerns Community Resources Volunteer Community Connect Stay Safe Order Community Updates Testing

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.

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

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 8 a.m.-5:30 p.m. Call (828) 419-0095 or email

Buncombe County Businesses and Citizen Frequently Asked Questions

General Community

Click here to link to the Buncombe Ready COVID-19 Self-Checker.
Buncombe County does not have the authority to regulate employment activities outside of Buncombe County. While we encourage everyone to stay home and stay safe, residents of Buncombe County who are employed outside the county may travel to work regardless of the nature of their occupation or whether that would be defined as essential or not under the Buncombe County declaration.

Essential Business

No, currently Buncombe County is not taking any actions to disrupt transit or roads, we are only asking people to limit their travel to essential travel only. At this time essential personnel and businesses do not need any credential or pass to be on the roads.

Yes. ABC stores are considered essential retail.

Yes, Credit Unions fall under the category of Financial Institutions and are deemed essential.

Babysitters, Nannies, and cleaners are deemed essential under this declaration. They meet childcare needs, they fall under our caring and supporting a friend and neighbor clause.  However, it is up to the individual to determine if having someone come into your home is safe.

Auto Sales services are now defined as essential in Buncombe County. However, they must comply with Public Health guidance on physical distancing and sanitation practices to include:

  • Motor vehicle sales will be conducted by appointment.
  • Posting online whether a facility is open and how best to reach the facility and, to the extent possible, continue services by phone or remotely.
  • Designate six-foot spacing via signage, tape, or by other means, for employees and customers to maintain appropriate distance and maintain at least six-foot physical distancing from other individuals.
  • No more than 10 people, including customers and employees, in the showroom at any one time.
  • Hand sanitizer and sanitizing products readily available for employees and customers.
  • No test drives permitted unless expressly requested by the purchaser and only conducted in adherence to the following requirements:
    • Vehicles are completely sanitized with COVID-19 approved products before and after every test drive with a card stating time it was driven and when it was sanitized.
    • No sales representative riding in vehicle with a customer.
    • Customer to wear gloves that are provided by dealership while test driving vehicle.
    • Seat mats to be used for the test drive.
    • Vehicles test driven will not be driven by another potential customer for 72 hours.
  • To the extent legally possible, conduct off-site / home delivery of vehicles.
  • Adhere to CDC and Buncombe County Public Health Guidelines for maintaining a safe workplace.

This order relaxes previous Buncombe County restrictions and allows for full real estate services on the condition that they are complying with CDC guidance and Buncombe County Public Health orders regarding physical distancing, and hygiene and sanitation practices

Lawn Care and Landscaping services are now defined as essential in Buncombe County. However, they must comply with Public Health guidance on physical distancing and sanitation practices to include:

  • Traveling to and from a jobsite
  • Working on a jobsite
  • During lunch or other breaks on a job site

Yes, moving is an essential function. If you haven’t yet scheduled your move, and you can delay it, that is recommended, but if not please ensure you are doing your very best to avoid close contact and sanitizing common-touch surfaces. If you are moving to another county or state, or you are moving to Buncombe from another jurisdiction- you need to quarantine yourselves for 2 weeks upon arrival at your new location.


Hotels and motels, bed and breakfasts, short-term rentals, less than 30 days, homestays and campgrounds are instructed to cancel currently scheduled leisure travel reservations and refrain from scheduling future leisure and other non-essential travel reservations. This order shall remain in effect until such time as it is repealed, replaced, or rescinded. Buncombe County residents or any employee who works for a business or organization defined as essential may stay in any lodging. However, the operator of that lodging MUST document the essential occupation and nature of business of any new resident making reservation from outside the county. In addition, any visitors arriving to Buncombe County from outside the state who are not travelling on essential business are required to self-quarantine in their residence for 14 days upon arrival. This means if someone is travelling through the state and gets a hotel room for the night, they must quarantine. If someone is planning to be in town for a week, they must quarantine for the duration of their visit. If someone is coming to a second home or vacation home of some sort in Buncombe County, they must also selfquarantine for 14 days before entering the community. This means no trips to the grocery store or other essential retail.

Outdoor Activities

Buncombe County river parks and Collier Cove Nature Preserve have reopened. For more information visit Buncombe County Recreation Services.

All Asheville City Parks are closed until further notice. For more information visit 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


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.


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

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.


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

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