COVID-19 Novel Coronavirus Notices & Information from the Town of Franklin NC
September 17 Update: 20 Active Cases of COVID-19 in Macon County, 557 Recovered, 7 Deaths | 584 Total Cases
North Carolina to Remain Paused in Safer At Home Phase 2 through 5:00 pm Friday, September 4, 2020 - STATEWIDE REQUIREMENT FOR FACE COVERINGS
NEW! North Carolina to enter Safer at Home Phase 2.5 at 5:00 pm on Friday, September 4, 2020 - STATEWIDE REQUIREMENT FOR FACE COVERINGS CONTINUES - In effect until October 2, 2020 at 5:00 pm
» Read Executive Order 163 | » Phase 2.5 FAQ (these documents are in PDF format)
Phase 2.5 means the following for North Carolina:
- Mass gathering limits will increase to 25 people indoors and 50 people outdoors from the current limit of 10 indoors and 25 outdoors.
- Playgrounds may open.
- Museums and aquariums may open at 50% capacity.
- Gyms and indoor exercise facilities, such as yoga studios, martial arts, and rock climbing, as well as skating rinks, bowling alleys, indoor basketball, volleyball etc., may open at 30% capacity.
- Bars, nightclubs, movie theaters, indoor entertainment facilities, amusement parks, dance halls will remain closed.
- Large venues remain subject to the mass gathering limits.
Due to the vast amount of information available to our citizens, the Town of Franklin has expanded our website to include separate sections for the State of North Carolina, Macon County NC, and Resources.
Macon County Reports 3 Additional Deaths Related to COVID-19
Three Macon County residents diagnosed with COVID-19 have died. These individuals were over the age of 65 and had underlying health conditions. To protect the families ́ privacy, no further information will be released about these patients.
“We are extremely saddened by these losses. As this pandemic is affecting our entire community, today we pray for these families coping with this devastating news.” stated Kathy McGaha, Macon County Health Director.
Mrs. McGaha continued, “It is so important that each of us do what we can to limit the spread of this virus. We can make a difference by wearing a mask, washing your hands, and staying 6 feet from others. Continue to practice social distancing and limit your trips outside your home to help to slow the spread of COVID-19.”
Macon County Schools Update
Wednesday, September 16 - Positive Case of COVID-19 Identified at Franklin High School
Today we were notified that a positive case of COVID-19 has been confirmed at Franklin High School. This individual is currently under quarantine. Contact tracing is underway through the Macon County Health Department. Any student or staff member identified through the contact tracing will be notified. Macon County Schools will continue to work closely with the Macon County Public Health Department as we monitor this situation.
Thursday, September 10 - Board of Education Special Called Meeting Update
On a motion made by Tommy Cabe and seconded by Fred Goldsmith, the Board approved by a 5-0 vote to lift the suspension of face-to-face instruction for Macon Middle School, Mountain View Intermediate School and Union Academy. Students at Macon Middle School, Mountain View Intermediate School and Union Academy will return to their face-to-face, Plan B schedule beginning Monday, September 14, 2020. Fridays will remain a remote learning day. All Franklin area K-4 schools as well as Macon Early College, Highlands School and Nantahala School will continue on with their current plan.
On a motion made by Tommy Cabe and seconded by Fred Goldsmith, the Board voted 4-1, with Stephanie McCall opposing the motion, to approve Franklin High School’s request to lift the suspension of face-to-face instruction for Franklin High School. Students at Franklin High School will return to their face-to-face, Plan B schedule on Monday, September 14, 2020. Freshmen will attend on Mondays, Sophomores on Tuesdays, Juniors on Wednesdays, and Seniors on Thursdays. Fridays will remain a remote learning day for everyone. The expectation is for Franklin High School students to begin face-to-face instruction two days per week no later than September 28, 2020 or as soon as all social distancing protocols can be met.
Tuesday, September 1 - School Nutrition Update
USDA has extended waivers that will allow Macon County Schools to continue to serve students through the Summer Food Service Program through December 2020. All students will continue to be able to eat for free!
If you have additional questions, please feel free to contact School Nutrition Director David Lightner at firstname.lastname@example.org or 828-524-3314 ext. 1010.
Friday, August 28 - Staff Member at Iotla Valley Elementary Tests Positive for COVID-19
Today, we were notified that a staff member at Iotla Valley Elementary School has tested positive for COVID-19. This individual is currently under quarantine. Contact tracing is currently underway through the Macon County Health Department. Any student or staff member identified through the contact tracing will be notified. Macon County Schools will continue to work closely with the Macon County Health Department as we monitor this situation.
Tuesday, August 24 - Macon County Public Health Identifies a Cluster at a Macon County School
Macon County Public Health has identified a cluster of individuals at Franklin High School who have tested positive and are isolated from others. All staff and students who have potentially been exposed to these individuals have been contacted and will be tested for COVID-19.
In addition to Franklin High School staff and students, MCPH is working to identify any additional close contacts of these individuals. The CDC defines close contact as being within approximately 6 feet of a person with an infection with COVID-19 case for a prolonged period of time of 10 minutes or longer. Based on information provided by the individual/parent, county health officials will assess risks of exposure, determine which if any additional measures are needed such as temperature and symptom checks, quarantine and/or testing. MCPH’s Medical Director and Macon County Public Schools are working together to limit the spread of COVID-19 among staff, students, and the community.
Sunday, August 23 - Student Tests Positive at East Franklin Elementary School
Today we were notified that a student at East Franklin Elementary School has tested positive for COVID-19. This individual is currently under quarantine. Contact tracing is currently underway through the Macon County Health Department. Any student or staff member identified through the contact tracing will be notified. Macon County Schools will continue to work closely with the Macon County Health Department as we monitor this situation.
August 18 - Macon County Public Health Employee Tests Positive for COVID-19
Macon County has identified that a Macon County Public Health employee has tested positive for COVID-19. The employee is isolating at home and doing well. Close contacts of the employee have been notified and tested. The necessary steps to disinfect the affected area have been performed.
Since March, Macon County has implemented strong infection control standards in all county facilities to protect employees and citizens. These measures include:
• providing personal protective equipment (PPE) to employees who need it,
• limiting access to county building and congregate areas,
• implementing a health screening process for all employees, such as taking temperatures before work,
• assuring that employees who work in an office-based setting are maintaining social distancing measures,
• moving to appointment-based services and limiting walk-in services, and
• implementing teleworking agreements for some personnel to work from home (should their job allow).
Macon County Public Health is confident the risk of exposure for employees and citizens is minimal, and by implementing these measures, the county has been and will continue to provide services safely. This individual has not had contact with the public.
Macon County recommends that business owners consult the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidance on what employers and employees should do if they have been exposed to COVID-19. Macon County leadership is committed to remaining transparent with the public and encourages businesses to be open with the public as well. For more guidance about employee exposure, visit the CDC by clicking here.