Coronavirus/COVID-19News

Watauga Board of Commissioners meeting addresses Phased-In Plan for Relaxing Restrictions and Protecting Public Health

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Last Updated on May 7, 2020 5:32 pm

UPDATE 5:30pm Thursday May 7 – The pdfs have been updated to show the newly issued State of Emergency order and Phase 1, 2 & 3 plans the county has adopted.


The Watauga County Board of Commissioners (BOC) met virtually on Tuesday to discuss and approve steps moving forward in re-opening the county regarding COVID-19 closures.

The BOC agreed to take steps in alignment with North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper’s approved timeframe for phased-ins openings. Phase 1 of the Governor's plan will begin this Friday, May 8th, at 5pm. That plan removes the distinction between essential and non-essential businesses. Retail businesses are allowed to open at 50% capacity and will be required to direct customers to stand 6 feet apart, perform frequent cleanings, provide hand sanitizer when available, screen workers for symptoms and more. The order is in effect until 5 pm on Friday, May 22.

Looking further ahead, the Board took action during the portion of the meeting titled “Staying Ahead of the Curve in Watauga County – A Phased-In Plan for Relaxing Restrictions and Protecting Public Health” on a plan to address easing restrictions when Phase 2 approaches. The lifting of more local restrictions, especially short-term rentals, would not begin until two weeks into Phase 2. At that time the county would partially lift the short-term rentals and move it to 50% of occupancy and lifting the 14-day self-quarantine which would allow time to measure the impacts.

Also during the BOC meeting, Jennifer Greene, Director of AppHealthCare, provided an update on continued testing measures and the plan moving forward.

More detailed information about Phase 1, 2 & 3 can be viewed in the PDF below. An updated State of Emergency Order was issued by the county late Thursday afternoon and can also be viewed below.

The full Board of Commissioners meeting can be listen to below. If the audio player does not work on your device, the audio can also be listen to at this link – http://www.wataugacounty.org/App_pages/Dept/BOC/Forms/2020-05-05BOC.mp3

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