By Clint Parker
North Buncombe – The Coronavirus we know as COVID19 is quickly changing our world, and more specifically, our area. Here are some of the changes in our area as of press time.
Weaverville – On March 16, The Town of Weaverville implemented “…proactive measures as a precaution to limit transmission of the Coronavirus known as COVID19, including closing its buildings to public access and prohibiting gatherings in the community room and recreational facilities (playground equipment, outdoor fitness equipment, pavilions, picnic sheds and the Nature Park stage) normally used for that purpose, until further notice. Town services such as fire protection, law enforcement, water services, and garbage collection will continue uninterrupted. Administrative (finance, water billing, tax collections, zoning, etc.) can be accessed electronically or by phone.”
On March 17, the town declared a state of emergency last week, which allows the town to collect federal disaster relief funds, among other things.
On March 21, the town took a further step “…to discourage gatherings and to encourage social distancing to ensure our residents’ and visitors’ safety,” moving to close town parks which will “…remain closed until further notice. This applies to all Lake Louise Park and Main Street Nature Park amenities, including but not limited to trails, walkways, playground equipment, picnic tables, shelters, open areas, fishing, etc.” The town also canceled its monthly council meeting.
Woodfin – On March 18, the Woodfin Town Hall closed to regular foot traffic and asked the public to call for an appointment with town staff. The town also canceled its regular monthly meeting of the town commissioners.
Also, on March 18, Woodfin Police issued a statement of temporary changes, including not responding to non-emergency calls for assistance, but would handle the call via a phone call. Officers also stopped responding to medical calls unless requested by fire or EMS personnel. They also asked citizens wishing to receive a copy of a report to call to have the report faxed or emailed.
A private effort we know about includes a “Helping Neighbors” project in the Reems Creek Community, where a group of neighbors is working to help residents self-quarantine by picking up medicine and groceries for people who don’t feel comfortable getting out.
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