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Department of Health News

Buncombe County's Stay Safe, Stay Smart Order Update

Jan. 6, 2021 Update

Governor Cooper has extended North Carolina’s Modified Stay At Home Order that requires people to be at home from 10 p.m.-5 a.m., to last through at least Friday, Jan. 29. Secretary Cohen also issued a Secretarial Directive with stark warnings for North Carolinians to avoid indoor spaces without masks and gatherings between households. Read more details on the Secretarial Directive.

Dec. 31, 2020 Update

Buncombe Commissioners commit to re-evaluate restaurant restrictions before Jan. 22, 2021. 

Dec. 23, 2020

Buncombe County, City of Asheville, and Town of Montreat will move to add more stringent measures in an effort to slow the spread of COVID-19. 

  • The new local order signed on Dec. 23, 2020, reduces the capacity for indoor dining in restaurants from 50% of stated fire capacity to 30%
  • Lowers the number for an indoor mass gathering for social gatherings with individuals from outside your household from 10 persons to 2 persons
  • New restrictions are effective as of Saturday, Jan. 2, 2021. Read the declaration here

Dec. 11, 2020 Update

Buncombe County officials continue to take proactive steps to keep our community safe and healthy during the COVID-19 Coronavirus pandemic.

NC Governor Roy Cooper on Tuesday, Dec. 8, 2020, implemented a modified Stay At Home Order as COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations reach new heights. Executive Order 181 takes effect on Dec. 11, 2020, at 5 p.m. and is effective until Jan. 8, 2021, at 5 p.m. 

Under Executive Order 181, current precautions remain in place, and major changes include: 

  • Certain businesses and facilities are ordered to close to the public between 10 p.m. and 5 a.m. (the “Night-Time Public Closure Period”).
    • This includes restaurants (with exceptions for take-out and delivery, as noted below), bars, entertainment venues, parks, museums and aquariums, certain retail establishments, and other businesses and facilities specified below and in the Order.
  • All individuals in North Carolina must stay at home or the place they will remain for the night between 10 p.m. and 5 a.m. (the “Stay at Home Period”), unless an exception applies. • The sale and service of alcoholic beverages is prohibited for on-site consumption between the hours of 9:00 p.m. and 7:00 a.m.
  • Events or convenings outside of the home must end by 10 p.m. and guests must leave the establishment and travel home or to the place where they will stay for the night.
  • The capacity limitations on certain businesses, indoor and outdoor gathering limits, and other public health measures implemented by previous executive orders are extended through Jan. 8, 2021.

If you have any questions about this new order, please reach out to our Ready Team Monday-Friday between 8 a.m.- 5 p.m. Call  (828) 419-0095 or email 

Executive Order 181 FAQs Printable


Download Buncombe County's Emergency Declaration