Coronavirus/COVID-19 Key Items To Know Locally – Monday, March 23, 2020

Last Updated on February 12, 2022 7:05 pm

As events continue to unfold regarding Coronavirus (COVID-19), literally by the minute, here's the latest local information as of Monday morning. Information will be added here, and to main sections of the website, as needed during the day.

BREAKING 1:12pm – Governor Roy Cooper announces Executive Order that K-12 public schools will be closed until May 15th. The executive order takes other steps to slow the spread. It lowers the threshold to ban mass gatherings of more than 50 people. This order closes gyms, movie theatres, sweepstakes parlors, health clubs, and other similar facilities. Because of their inability to conduct social distancing, this order also closes hair and nail salons, barber shops, and massage therapists as of 5 PM Wednesday. View the press conference at this link.

UPDATE – The North Carolina State Board of Education voted unanimously today to seek a one-year waiver from the U.S. Department of Education for federal student testing and accountability requirements for the 2019-20 school year because of school closures ordered to combat COVID-19.

Under the federal Every Student Succeeds Act, all states are required to test students annually as an accountability measure of student and school performance.

The number of positive COVID-19 cases in Watauga County still stands at 2. The first case was confirmed on March 15 and the second case was confirmed on March 18. There are currently no confirmed cases in Ashe or Avery.

The statewide confirmed cases rose to 297 as of 8:35am Monday, according to the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services. The completed test in the state was 8,438, according to NCDHHS at 8:35am Monday. Information from the John Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Center reports the number of cases for North Carolina at 311 as of 10:12am.

The national confirmed cases rose to 35,241 as of 10:12am, according to John Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Center. The total deaths are 473, with New York state having the highest total at 99.

Watauga County government buildings will close to the public on Monday. All county departments and operations will remain on normal operating hours. Staff will be available to respond to citizen’s request via email, telephone, or by appointment where applicable. Visit this link for contact information for County and State Agencies.

Watauga County School facilities are closed to the public until further notice.

Also of note regarding schools, on March 19 Governor Roy Cooper stated “We're going to be out of schools for a while. The order was for March 30 but I think people know that with community spread and the crisis increasing, we will likely be out for longer.”

Watauga County Schools have announced that two additional meal distribution sites will open on Monday at Valle Crucis and WHS. More information available at this link.

Many grocery stores have adjusted store hours. Be sure to check with where you shop for the adjusted store hours.

The Boone Chamber of Commerce has a running list of restaurants that are open for take out, delivery, curbside/drive-thru and gift cards. That list is viewable at this link.

Facilities at all North Carolina state parks are closed as of Saturday. More information available at this link.

The N.C. Education Lottery will temporarily close its Claim Centers, effective Monday, March 23. More information available at this link.

Appalachian State to begin “a new normal” on Monday. More information at this link.

Tweetsie Railroad postpones opening day. More information at this link.

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