COVID-19 Novel Coronavirus

Information For Citizens & Visitors of
Franklin & Macon County NC

Macon County NC, Information & Resources

NEW! Do you have questions about COVID-19 or suspect you may have symptoms? Please call Macon County’s Community Resource Center at 828-349-0211 for information on the following:

- Questions about possible COVID-19 symptoms (fever, coughing, and difficulty breathing)
- Questions about state or local regulations
- Questions about unmet needs

The call center is open Monday through Friday from 8 am to 5 pm.

May 23, 2020 Update

Three Additional Macon County Residents Test Positive for COVID-19

Macon County Public Health has identified three additional positive cases of COVID-19. All three are unrelated to the positive essential workers at an area business. One of the three individuals is under the age of 18.

MCPH is working to identify other 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, 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.

The entire state of North Carolina is under a modified “Stay at Home” executive order, currently under phase one. Older adults and people of any age who have serious underlying medical conditions might be at higher risk for severe illness from COVID-19; however, anyone of any age can become infected with this illness. Therefore, we ask that community members strictly follow the governor’s orders and continue to practice social distancing, as well as safe hygiene measures such as hand washing and frequently cleaning touched objects and surfaces. The public can monitor the different phases of re-opening and learn more about the restrictions by clicking here.

It is important to make sure the information you are getting about COVID-19 is coming directly from reliable sources. For more information, please visit the CDC’s website and NCDHHS’ website which also includes future positive COVID-19 test results in North Carolina.

MCPH regularly updates our Facebook page with accurate and current information regarding COVID-19; we encourage the public to check our Facebook page, www.facebook.com/MaconPublicHealth for up-to-date information.

Symptoms for COVID-19 are fever, cough, other lower respiratory illness (shortness of breath). If you believe that you may have COVID-19, please call the Health Department at 828-349-2517. The call center is open Monday through Friday from 8:00am – 5:00pm, until further notice.

May 21, 2020 Update

Multiple Macon County Residents Test Positive for COVID-19

Macon County Public Health has identified two additional positive cases of COVID-19. One individual acquired the virus unrelated to other identified positive cases. The other individual is believed to have acquired the virus via a positive case that had previously been identified by MCPH. This individual is an essential employee at a local business. We are working with the business and their staff to test all employees for the COVID-19 virus. Due to the nature of their work, these essential employees are unable to perform social distancing measures to the degree necessary to prevent exposure to COVID-19.

At this time, MCPH does not believe that the general public who may have been at the store needs to be tested, as they are more likely to have been practicing the necessary social distancing required to prevent the spread of COVID-19, including wearing a mask, washing your hands, and remaining 6 feet apart from others. COVID-19 is not believed to spread to individuals by just passing one another, so long as no aerosolized products (like sneezing or coughing) are exchanged. Members of the public are still encouraged to contact MCPH at 828-349-2517, if they believe that they have COVID-19 or are experiencing cough, shortness of breath, or fever greater than 100.4º F.

MCPH is working to identify other 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, 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.

Macon County repeals, cancels and ends County COVID-19 Pandemic Regulations effective May 8, 2020 - 5PM

Regulations imposed in Macon County (Less the Towns of Franklin and Highlands) by the Macon County Emergency Management Coordinator in connection with the COVID-19 Pandemic will be repealed, cancelled and ended effective May 8, 2020 at 05:00PM.

** Executive Orders of the Governor of the State of North Carolina are still valid and remain in full force and effect, including limits on mass gatherings, and retain social distancing requirements. **

The Governor of the State of North Carolina recently shared information about how North Carolina can gradually and safely reopen over three (3) phases beginning approximately May 8, 2020. The Macon County Health Department has also made recommendations for a reopening of Macon County in phases consistent with the plan released by the Governor.

With the number of COVID-19 positive patients having a minimal impact to date on the healthcare system in Macon County and with provisions available to pause reopening actions or take further actions deemed necessary and appropriate in the future, the regulations so imposed by the Emergency Management Coordinator are deemed no longer necessary as of May 8, 2020 at 05:00PM.

Macon County residents and visitors to our county are strongly urged to follow the state's standards for social distancing. All businesses should also follow recommended social distancing and hygiene practices.

» GO TO MACON COUNTY PUBLIC HEALTH WEBSITE

A Message from Macon Transit

In light of the recent COVID-19 situation, Macon County Transit would like to let you know some of the ways we are serving the community during this challenging time.

• Vehicles are cleaned and disinfected multiple times per day in order to keep our passengers safe.
• Signage has been added to the vehicles asking passengers to observe social distancing while being transported.
• The maximum number of passenger on our vehicles is five so that social distancing can be observed.
• Transportation to medical appointments inside the county is available.
• Transportation is being provided to essential personnel for employment.
• Transportation to the grocery store is available.
• The Mountain Gem route operates on hourly loops, rather than half-hour loops. Hours of this service is 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m., Monday – Friday.
• In partnership with the Crawford Senior Center, we are assisting with delivery of meals to elderly citizens within the county.
• The shuttle service to the Appalachian Trail is available but operation is slightly different. The vehicle goes to Rock Gap & Winding Stairs at approximately 9:00 a.m. The vehicle remains at Winding Stairs for approximately 30 minutes or until five passengers have boarded. The vehicle returns to Franklin for the hiker(s) to resupply or arrange to get off the trail. The hikers are given information on the recently imposed regulations in place for Macon County. Should they need transportation TO the Asheville airport, every effort is made to take them and drop them off there.
• NO passengers are being picked up FROM the airport and transported to Franklin.
• NO requests are being accepted for out of county appointments until further notice.
• Exceptions will be made to provide transportation to out of county medical appointments when request is made by the Physician’s office as a medical necessity.

The office staff and drivers at Macon County Transit would like you to call our office at 349-2222 if you have any questions or concerns.