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Town issues guidance in reopening businesses

By Clint Parker

Weaverville, NC – The own Manager of Weaverville Selena Coffey issued a press release on how businesses in the town should prepare to reopen today (May 2).

In the email to which the press release was attached, Coffey stated, “Please find a guidance document for your use in preparing to reopen your businesses located within Weaverville Town limits. Please reach out to me if you have questions and/or if can provide additional clarifications. The Mayor and Town Council, as well as staff, are doing everything we can to assist you and re-opening your businesses safely and re-energizing our community.”

On May 1, the town joined a growing trend across the state and removed the town from following the Buncombe County rules and instead is now following Gov. Roy Coopers’ guidance when it comes to reopening businesses. “The Governor’s rules are quite like the ones we have been living under for the past month,” said the press release. “Until we enter Phase I, we won’t see a whole lot of change, but there are a few to highlight:

  1. Businesses that can meet Social Distancing Requirements can open now. However, this requires strict compliance with keeping all persons six feet apart except at the point of payment, washing hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds as frequently as possible or using hand sanitizer, regularly cleaning high-touch surfaces, and promoting on-line or remote access if practical. To facilitate this, you must mark six feet in spacing if you anticipate a line at a cash register or outside your establishment, and limit the number of customers in your establishment to 20 percent of your stated fire capacity, or five customers per 1000 square feet of your total square footage. If you cannot accomplish this, you would need to wait for the upcoming phases of reopening throughout May and June.
  2. Gatherings of up to only ten persons are allowed in a single room or single space at the same time, such as an auditorium, stadium, arena, large conference room, meeting hall, or any other confined indoor or outdoor space. In addition, funerals are permitted to include no more than fifty persons, while observing Social Distancing Requirements to the extent practicable.
  3. Persons entering Weaverville from outside North Carolina are not required to self-isolate for 14 days.
    There will be a lot of questions in the days ahead and we will be happy to help as best we can. Remember, however, that when in doubt, please opt for the safe path of staying home as much as possible and maintaining distance when in public. You can call Town Hall during office hours at 645-7116 or use our contact form at https://weavervillenc.org/contact-us/ .”

Coffey also offered a timeline on the town’s COVID-19 lockdown and a reason the town is now departing from the county’s guidelines in the release saying, “On March 25, Buncombe County adopted a comprehensive set of rules addressing the COVID-19 emergency. Weaverville consented to their application within the Town limits. On March 27, Governor Cooper announced similar rules applicable to the entire state. Because our County rules were already in effect, the state rules caused little if any change here.

“On April 23, 2020, the Governor announced his roadmap for slowly lifting the COVID-19 restrictions across the state. If present progress continues, those following the Governor’s rules will enter Phase I of the lifting on May 9. In anticipation of this process, municipalities across the state have removed their local COVID-19 rules. Raleigh and Charlotte have done so in the past few days. While Buncombe County has chosen to retain its separate rules, conditions in Weaverville do not merit straying from the path set by the Governor. “

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Clint Parker

Publisher & Editor Weaverville Tribune

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