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COVID-19 Update

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Information and Preparedness

Updated: Friday, April 3, 2020 6:50 PM

Coronavirus/COVID-19 News & Information

Questions & Concerns

Buncombe County Businesses and Citizen Frequently Asked Questions

General Community

Click here for information on what to do when you are sick.
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

To request an exemption, please send an email to

In the email include the following information:

  • Business name
  • Best point of contact
  • Email address
  • Phone number
  • Statement as to the nature of the business and why it should be deemed essential

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.

In person auto sales are nonessential until April 9. Auto dealerships can show and sell vehicles virtually, and they may close and complete paperwork in processing as long as they are adhering to physical distancing and hygiene guidance. Auto repair and maintenance are essential services. If an auto dealership has a maintenance and service line on site, that line of operations may continue to operate.

In person house showing is nonessential until April 9. Realtors can show and sell homes virtually.  They can also continue and complete any vital paperwork or legal processes to continue sales. In general, under the Minimum Business Operations clause, they can also send staff and contractors to houses to maintain and update their virtual inventory.

Lawn Care may operate under the minimum business operations clause, this means minimal staffing and as long as they are adhering to physical distancing and hygienic requirements. These social distancing requirement include travel to and from a jobsite, on the jobsite, and to lunch and breaks on jobsites. We want to ensure that all Buncombe County residents, whether on essential business or not, maintain their distance at 6ft.

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.


All lodging facilities, including campgrounds, with rentals or leases for less than one month in duration shall be closed EXCEPT for work-related accommodations, facilities housing persons experiencing homelessness and any facility being used for isolation and quarantine purposes. Current residents at campgrounds are permitted to stay, but campgrounds should not allow new patrons to enter and establish themselves. Current residents at hotels, motels, and bed and breakfasts and other short-term rentals are permitted to stay, but these facilities should cancel any leisure travel reservations for the duration of this declaration. Any employees who work for a business or organization deemed essential can stay in any lodging.

According to the recently released supplemental declaration titled Stay Home Stay Safe, all non-essential travel is discouraged at this time. We understand that there are many essential reasons why someone would need to drive between county lines like work, to care for a family member, and to access medical care. We encourage all out of county travelers to practice strict social distancing guidelines, proper hygiene habits, and stay home when sick. All visitors traveling to Buncombe County from areas experiencing community transmission of COVID-19 – notably New York State, Washington State and California – must self-quarantine at their residence upon arrival for 14 days before entering the community.

More information on social distancing and proper hygiene habits, visit

Outdoor Activities

All Buncombe County Parks are closed until further notice. 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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