In addition to extending Phase 2, the governor also announced that face coverings are now required in public — both indoors + outdoors — where social distancing is not possible. They will also be mandatory for customers + employees of retail businesses, public transit, restaurants, grooming and personal care, agriculture, and meat processing facilities.
North Carolina entered Phase 2 of the governor’s three phase plan to reopen the state May 22. Phase 2 lifted the statewide Stay Home, Stay Safe Order and allowed non-essential businesses — including public swimming pools, beauty salons, barber shops, tattoo parlours + restaurants for dine-in customers — to reopen at 50% capacity and with intensive cleaning schedules. Moving into Phase 3 would have meant businesses that had previously remained closed — including bars, nightclubs, indoor entertainment venues, amusement parks, public playgrounds, and gyms + indoor fitness facilities — would be allowed to reopen.
Governor Cooper cited the troubling increase in cases and hospitalizations and the state’s risk of overwhelming hospital capacity as motivation for his directives. He also noted that stabilizing + decreasing trends is also vital in order to get kids back into school come fall. He says he will assess + announce plans on reopening schools in the coming weeks.
What are your thoughts on the Phase 2 extension and making masks mandatory?
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○ NC’s Department of Health and Human Services reported atotal of 56,174 cases of coronavirus in North Carolina as of Wednesday afternoon. 514 cases and 36 deaths have been reported in Buncombe County. Check stats for other counties, total tests, and more in NChere.
○ The NCDHHS is identifying daycares with COVID-19 clusters, including in Cumberland County, Mecklenburg County + New Hanover County. Little Blessings Daycare in Hendersonville currently has six cases – two adults and four children – but it is not considered a cluster under the state’s guidelines because cases don’t seem to be epidemiologically linked. (WLOS)
○ Tuesday marked the highest number of hospitalizations for COVID-19 in NC, when 915 people were hospitalized for the virus. Dr. Anthony Fauci, of the White House’s coronavirus task force, told state lawmakers that community spread would be increasingly hard to manage unless state + local leaders took blunt action. (News & Observer)
○ $5 million will be distributed to 394 Buncombe County businesses from a relief grant program established by the TDA from occupancy taxes and managed by Mountain BizWorks. The money will reinstate or support 4,787 jobs and will not need to be paid back. Grants range from $2,000 to $50,000. Sixty-three grants went to minority-owned businesses + 232 went to women-owned businesses.
○ Groups of students from Ohio + West Virginia that traveled to Myrtle Beach, SC, have come down with COVID-19. Of 45 students from Ohio that went, 16 have tested positive so far for coronavirus, and three cases so far have been confirmed in WV from the trips. Ninety-one students total from both states traveled to Myrtle Beach. (CBS)
○ Madison County is awarding grants up to $5,000 to small businesses + their employees affected by COVID-19. The Madison County CARES Small Business Assistance Grant Program is open to businesses within the county with one to 25 employees. Awards will be granted on a first-come, first-served basis.
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Hey, there. Looking for today’s #MustDo events? In accordance with the
CDC’s recommendations regarding public gatherings, we have decided to postpone public event coverage for the time being. We look forward to bringing you Asheville’s #MustDo events soon (until then, feel free to submit your virtual events
Summer in the mountains means it’s elk calving season in the Great Smoky Mountains. DYK elk calves weigh roughly 35 pounds at birth + can stand within minutes of being born. By the time winter rolls around, these adorable critters can weigh five times as much as they did at birth.
The Great Smoky Mountains National Park also notes that it’s illegal to approach elk + other wildlife within 50 yards or any distance that disturbs the animals. Violating this rule — which is a federal regulation — can get you fined or arrested. If you want to catch a better look at any of the park’s majestic creatures, don’t enter the fields — grab your binoculars and keep your distance. 🦌
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State ○ Madison Cawthorn defeated Haywood County’s Lynda Bennett in the primary runoff for NC’s 11th Congressional District. Bennett received public support from President Donald Trump and his Chief of Staff Mark Meadows, who formerly held the seat. Cawthorn won roughly two-thirds of the vote + now will face off against Democrat Moe Davis for a district that spans 18 WNC counties.(Asheville Citizen-Times)
Civic ○ Asheville City Council + the Buncombe County Board of Commissioners are accepting applications from residents for a new, 12-member Vance Monument Task Force. Appointees will help plan, gather, and evaluate community feedback that will be used to determine the fate of the controversial obelisk. The application period will end July 7. Interested? Apply here. (BPR News) ○ On June 29, Buncombe County will open the majority of its public-facing offices, including Ag and Land Resources, Permitting and Inspections, and Register of Deeds. Offices will have plexiglas barriers, increased sanitation measures, hand sanitizer, disposable face coverings, social distance markers + more. Select library branches will begin offering appointment-based visits. The Tax Collections Office is expected to reopen in July. 🌆
Dish ○ Rise Above Deli is changing hands. The deli was located inside Hillman Beer(25 Sweeten Creek Rd.), and is being bought out by them. The menu will stay the same. Their bakehouse will remain open at 1207 Charlotte Hwy in Fairview. 🥖 ○ Ready for some delicious news? Chai Panireopens for takeout + delivery today at 11:30 a.m. Their hours of operation are 11:30 a.m.-9 p.m., Tues.-Sun. Order online for pickup or by phone at (828) 254-4003. They are not currently offering indoor or patio seating. 🥡
DYK ○ A massive dust plume from the Sahara desert is coming towards the US. Due to its size, it has been nicknamed the Gorilla Dust Cloud + is currently over the Caribbean. Plumes normally become diffused + diluted when they reach the Caribbean, but the Gorilla Dust Cloud is defying the odds. It could darken our skies slightly + make sunrises and sunsets more brilliant by the end of this week. ☁️ (CBS News)
Health ○ Vaya Health is joining agencies + other groups in recognizing June as National PTSD Awareness month. WNC residents who receive Medicaid or are uninsured can call Vaya’s toll-free, 24/7 Access to Care Line at 1-800-849-6127 for treatment options. Anyone in WNC can also call Vaya for help with a behavioral health crisis. You can visit the National Center for PTSD for more info about PTSD.
Nominate ○ The Association of Fundraising Professionals WNC Chapter is now accepting nominations for 2020 National Philanthropy Day Awards. The deadline for nominations is Aug. 28 + the awards will be presented in Nov. Categories for nominations include Outstanding Philanthropist, Volunteer Fundraiser, Business in Philanthropy + Youth Philanthropist.
FeaturedEvent ○ Time for some trivia. Join Emcee Seth Kellam for 5 rounds of online trivia tonight from 7-9 p.m. with the goal of helping Jewish Family Services of WNC reach $20,000 to help support their programs and services through COVID-19. Ⓟ
Save the planet in style. Nothing New sneakers are comfy, eco-friendly footwear made from recycled water bottles. The uppers are crafted from a canvas material that is both sustainable + durable, while true stitch construction creates a flexible bond without the need for harmful chemicals or sulfur emissions.
Esquire even said they “might be the most sustainable (and stylish) sneakers on the planet.”
Bonus: Free shipping + returns(in eco-friendly packaging, of course). Ⓟ
Answered:It’s not even a contest when it comes to how you live your best #lakelife. 50% of you voted that your favorite way to spend time at the lake is boating (including kayaks, SUP, paddleboats, or motorized boats). 🚤
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