COVID-19 Novel CoronavirusTown of Franklin, NC Information For Citizens & Visitors
Town of Franklin, NC COVID-19 Novel Coronavirus Public Notices, Information & Resources
January 26 - COVID-19 Case Count Update:
519 Active Cases of COVID-19 in Macon County
2,040 Recovered • 18 Deaths • 2,577 Total Cases
Total Vaccines Given by MCPH & Off-Site: 2,273
MACON COUNTY PUBLIC HEALTH VACCINATION UPDATES
Macon County Public Health Streamlines Vaccine Registration and Appointment Scheduling
Macon County Public Health has streamlined the COVID-19 vaccination registration and appointment scheduling process in an effort to register individuals and schedule appointments in a timelier manner.
Beginning Tuesday, January 25, 2021, individuals who need to register or schedule an appointment for a COVID-19 vaccination should call 828-524-1500. The Call Center is operating Monday through Friday 8:00am – 5:00pm.
Macon County is currently vaccinating individuals’ eligible for Group 1 (Health Care Workers with in-person Patient Contact) and Group 2 (Individuals age 65 and over). Those who are eligible under either of these groups who have not registered or need to schedule an appointment should call 828-524-1500.
Vaccination clinics are being held Monday through Friday from 8:30am – 4:00pm. Due to vaccine allocations not meeting the current demand, Macon County Public Health has begun a waitlist system for individuals who register or need to schedule appointments from January 25, 2021 forward. Appointment slots will be established based on vaccine supply. As vaccine becomes available individuals on the waitlist will be contacted with their appointment date and time.
Individuals’ needing an appointment for COVID-19 testing should call 828-349-2517. Testing clinics are also being held daily Monday through Friday from 8:30am – 4:00pm.
Macon County Public Health is providing testing and vaccination clinics through a drive-thru clinic at 1830 Lakeside Drive in Franklin and, an appointment is required. We are continually working on ways to expand current capacity and streamlining the scheduling process and request the community assist us by holding calls to schedule vaccinations until your phase is announced.
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
Hours are Monday through Friday 8:30 am to 12:00 pm and 1:00 pm to 4:00 pm. If you are unable to call during these hours, please leave a message and it will be returned during normal operating hours.
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.
The Macon County Public Health COVID-19 Screening Call Center is operating on the following schedule to allow for employees to take a lunch break: Monday through Friday 8:30 am to 12:00 pm and 1:00 pm to 4:00 pm. If you are unable to call during these hours, please leave a message and it will be returned during normal operating hours.
Modified Stay at Home | Early Closure Order Extended Through January 29, 2021
Major Changes with the Executive Order
Certain businesses and facilities are ordered to close to the public between 10:00 p.m. and 5:00 a.m. (the “Night-Time Public Closure Period”). This includes restaurants (with exceptions for take-out and delivery, as noted below), bars, entertainment venues, parks, museums and aquariums, certain retail establishments, and other businesses and facilities specified below and in the Order.
- All individuals in North Carolina must stay at home or the place they will remain for the night between 10:00 p.m. and 5:00 a.m. (the “Stay at Home Period”), unless an exception applies.
- The sale and service of alcoholic beverages is prohibited for on-site consumption between the hours of 9:00 p.m. and 7:00 a.m.
- Events or convenings outside of the home must end by 10:00 p.m. and guests must leave the establishment and travel home or to the place where they will stay for the night.
- The capacity limitations on certain businesses, indoor and outdoor gathering limits, and other public health measures implemented by previous executive orders are extended through January 8, 2021.
What remains the same under this Order?
- The gathering limits remain at ten (10) individuals for indoor settings and fifty (50) individuals for outdoor settings.
- The limitations on certain businesses, sanitation standards, and other public health restrictions outlined in the Phase 3 Executive Order and NCDHHS Guidance remain in effect.
- A face covering is still required in all public indoor settings if there are nonhousehold members present, regardless of the individual’s ability to maintain social distance. Face coverings continue to be required in public outdoor settings if individuals are unable to maintain six feet of social distance from non-household members.
- Retail business locations with more than 15,000 square feet of interior space must continue to have a worker at each entrance open to the public, who is responsible for enforcing the executive orders’ face covering and capacity limitations.
January 06 - NCDHHS Issues Secretarial Directive with Immediate Actions to Protect North Carolinians
The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services today issued a Secretarial Directive telling North Carolinians to stay home except for essential activities and avoid gathering, especially indoors, with people who do not live with you.
The directive comes as the state reports 84 counties as red in the COVID-19 County Alert System released today, meaning most of the state has critical levels of viral spread. North Carolina also has experienced record high numbers on key metrics in recent weeks, including its highest number since the start of the pandemic of cases reported each day, the percent of tests that are positive and people hospitalized with COVID-19.
“There is an alarming amount of virus everywhere in our state. We are in a very dangerous position,” said NCDHHS Secretary Mandy K. Cohen, M.D. “Every single North Carolinian needs to take immediate action to save lives and protect themselves and each other.”
Today’s directive outlines immediate actions North Carolinians must take to save lives, slow the spread of the virus and protect hospital capacity across North Carolina to ensure medical care is available to anyone who may need it, whether for COVID-19 or for any other reason.
The directive aligns with recent recommendations from the White House Coronavirus Task Force, the Governor’s Executive Orders on COVID-19 and the COVID-19 County Alert System for North Carolina. North Carolinians are directed to:
Only leave home for essential activities such as going to work or school, for health care purposes, to care for family members or to buy food.
Avoid leaving home if you are over 65 or at high risk for developing serious illness. Use delivery services or alternative pick-up methods for food and retail.
- Avoid gathering with people who do not live with you.
- Wear a mask and keep distance from people when you leave home.
- Avoid any indoor public spaces where people are not wearing masks.
- Stay away from crowds. Avoid places where people may gather in large numbers.
As recommended by the White House Coronavirus Task Force to North Carolina, the directive also says that if you have gathered with people who do not live with you, assume that you became infected with the virus and get tested for COVID-19. People should also get tested if they have symptoms or have been exposed to someone with COVID-19.
COVID-19 is highly contagious, and more than half of North Carolinians are at high risk for serious illness. Studies are also finding that some people, including those who had mild illness, experience symptoms for weeks or months following infection.
North Carolina's statewide mask requirement and Modified Stay at Home Order are in effect. This order requires people to stay at home between the hours of 10 p.m. and 5 a.m. Businesses including restaurants, bars, entertainment venues, personal care businesses, most retail stores and more, have capacity limits and are required to close by 10 p.m. In addition, all onsite alcohol consumption sales must end by 9 p.m.
Macon County Public Health 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.
MACON COUNTY PUBLIC HEALTH UPDATES
January 22 - Macon County Reports Additional Death Related to COVID-19
Macon County Public Health received notification today that a Macon County resident diagnosed with COVID-19 has passed away. The death occurred in Macon County and the individual was over the age of 65 with underlying health conditions. To protect the family´s privacy, no further information will be released about the individual. This death brings Macon County to eighteen (18) deaths related to COVID-19.
Health Director, Kathy McGaha said, “We continue to be in the critical outbreak stage but, we can make a difference by being diligent in wearing a mask, washing our 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.”
January 15 - Macon County Reports 5 Additional Deaths Related to COVID-19
Macon County Public Health received notification today that five (5) Macon County residents diagnosed with COVID-19 have passed away since December 30th, 2021. Each of these deaths occurred outside of Macon County and all were over the age of 65 with underlying health conditions. To protect the family´s privacy, no further information will be released about these patients. This death brings Macon County to seventeen (17) deaths related to COVID-19.
Health Director, Kathy McGaha said, “We continue to be in the critical outbreak stage but, we can make a difference by be diligent in wearing a mask, washing our 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.”
January 14 - MCPH Enhanced COVID-19 Testing & Vaccination
Beginning Thursday, January 21, 2021 Macon County Public Health in partnership with Macon County EMS will be conducting COVID-19 testing and vaccinations Monday-Friday, 8:30am- 4:00pm at the Macon County Department of Public Health, located at 1834 Lakeside Drive. Upon implementation, the revised testing and vaccination schedule will give us the capacity to test and vaccinate approximately 1750 individuals per week. While capacity for testing and vaccinations will increase dramatically, it is important to remember with respect to vaccinations that Macon County can only administer those vaccinations which we have received from the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services. As of January 14, 2021 we have received 800 doses, of which 280 have been administered. Furthermore, Macon County can only administer vaccines to individuals who have registered and been deemed eligible by the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services under the states phasing guidelines.
Updates to the Macon County Website will now clearly display phasing information related to the statewide COVID-19 Vaccination distribution effort. By clicking on the Vaccination Phase, located on the website hornepage, users will be directed to the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services website, where detailed information on timing and eligibility for each vaccination phase is available. In addition to phasing information, daily COVID-19 updates on the Macon County homepage will now contain vaccination information including number of vaccines administered as well as number of vaccines in stock.
Prior to Thursday, January 21, 2021 Macon County will continue to operate Otto modified testing and vaccination schedule. The testing and vaccination schedule can be viewed on the Macon County website homepage.
Macon County Emergency Services will be hosting a drive-thru COVID-19 testing clinic for anyone who believes they may have been exposed to COVID-19 in the Nantahala community at the EMS Base on Junaluska Road on Tuesday January 19, 2021 from 10 AM until 2 PM or until tests run out. No appointment is necessary.
Vaccination Enrollment information
As required by the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services, all vaccine recipients must enroll in the CVMS program. Macon County Information Technology staff have implemented a portal for Macon County to begin the enrollment process. By following this link on Macon County Government's Homepage, www.maconnc.org, you can provide us with your name and your personal email, which will be uploaded to NC CVMS (COVID-19 Vaccine Management System). You will receive an email from NC CVMS - "Thank you for signing up". Once you fill out a short questionnaire your eligibility will be verified, you will be enrolled, and assigned to a vaccine phase. Following enrollment, an appointment for vaccination can then be scheduled by contacting the Macon County Department of Public Health's Call Center at (828) 349-2517, select option "2". MCPH's Call Center will directly enroll individuals who do not have an email when you call.
The MCPH Call Center, like COVID-19 call centers across the state and region continues to experience disruption in the phone system resulting from overwhelming call volume. Our Information Technology staff is working around the clock with our local telephone service provider to resolve these issues immediately. We apologize for the inconvenience this has caused.
Commnunity Assistance Requested
To assist in the community-wide vaccination enrollment process, Macon County has directly contacted local religious organizations in addition to community clubs and civic organizations, providing each of them with forms necessary to enroll their members in the CVMS program. A training session to assist those within the organizations designated to gather information from their mernbership will be conducted by Macon County on Wednesday, January 20, 2021 at 11:00 am. via Zoom. For more information on the upcoming training session or assisting any group/organization with the vacdnation enrollment process, please email Tammy firstname.lastname@example.org.
Macon County is now advertising for five (5) part-time, processing assistant positions to assist our local Health Department in combatting the COVID-19 pandernic. Primary duties will entail information dissemination 18 88011 as data 0703 2114 will be compensated at a rate of 515 per hour. Additional inforrnation and application instructions are available on the Macon County website homepage. www.maconnc.org. Deadline for application submittal is January 19, 2021 at 6:00 pm.
In addition to submitting applications on-line and in person, NC Works will be hosting a job fair at the Robert C. Carpenter Building located at 1288 Georgia Road on Tuesday, January 19, 2021 from 2:00- 6:00 pm for those interested in applying for the part-time processing assistant positions.
Macon County is seeking volunteers to assist our local Health Department in combatting the COVID-19 pandernic. A volunteer registration form is posted on the Homepage of the Macon County website. Those interested in serving can fill out the registration form and submit it in person to the front desk of the Macon County Tax Office located at 5 West Main Street Franklin NC, 28734, or via email by sending it to email@example.com
January 11 - Macon County Public Health to Stop the Announcement of Clusters
In order to realign our resources to better support the vaccination roll-out process and due to exceptional community spread within Macon County, Macon County Public Health will not be issuing press releases regarding cluster announcements. This is not a decision made lightly, but it is the belief of the agency that it would be the best use of our limited resources as we move in to the vaccination phase of our response to COVID-19.
Health Director, Kathy McGaha said of the change, “Macon County is seeing a continued surge of COVID-19 positive individuals as a result of holiday gathering. This surge is affecting the entire community, including businesses, churches, agencies, etc. We need the community to do everything they can to slow the surge of COVID-19 by wearing their mask, avoid in-person social gatherings, and when it is your turn – get vaccinated.”
Macon County Schools Information
Wednesday, January 27 - COVID-19 Update
This afternoon we were notified of a positive case of COVID-19 at East Franklin Elementary 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 Health Department as we monitor this situation.
Tuesday, January 26 - COVID-19 Update
This afternoon we were notified of positive cases of COVID-19 at the following locations: Mountain View Intermediate School-1, Franklin High School-2, East Franklin Elementary School-1, Highlands School-1, Iotla Valley Elementary School-2 and Macon Middle School-3. These individuals are 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 Health Department as we monitor this situation.
Monday, January 25 - COVID-19 Update
This morning we were notified of positive cases of COVID-19 at the following locations: Mountain View Intermediate School-3, Franklin High School-1, Cartoogechaye Elementary School-1, and East Franklin Elementary School-1. These individuals are 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 Health Department as we monitor this situation.
Friday, January 22 - COVID-19 Update
This morning we were notified of positive cases of COVID-19 at the following locations: Iotla Valley Elementary School-1, Macon Early College-1, South Macon Elementary School-1, Cartoogechaye Elementary School-1, Mountain View Intermediate School-1, Franklin High School-1 and Macon Middle School-1. These individuals are 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 Health Department as we monitor this situation.
Thursday, January 21 - COVID-19 Update
This morning we were notified of positive cases of COVID-19 at the following locations: East Franklin Elementary School-1, Iotla Valley Elementary School-2, Union Academy-1, Franklin High School-1 and Macon Middle School-1. These individuals are 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 Health Department as we monitor this situation.
Wednesday, January 20 - COVID-19 Update
This morning we were notified of positive cases of COVID-19 at the following locations: Franklin High School-2 and Mountain View Intermediate School-1. These individuals are 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 Health Department as we monitor this situation.
Tuesday, January 19 - COVID-19 Update
This morning we were notified of one positive case of COVID-19 within our Macon County Schools Support Staff as well as positive cases of COVID-19 at the following locations: Iotla Valley Elementary School-1, East Franklin Elementary School-1, Franklin High School-5, Highlands School-1 and Macon Middle School-1. These individuals are 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 Health Department as we monitor this situation.
Friday, January 15 - COVID-19 Update
This morning we were notified of positive cases of COVID-19 at the following locations: Macon Middle School-1 and Cartoogechaye Elementary School-1. These individuals are 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 Health Department as we monitor this situation.
TOWN OF FRANKLIN NC REOPENINGS, CLOSURES & CANCELLATIONS
- The rental of Memorial Park is suspended until September 11, 2020. Festivals and Events at the Gazebo are suspended until September 11, 2020. Due to the Governors Executive Order. However, if anyone wishes to have a parade, demonstration, or rally they need to contact Chief Harrell at the Franklin Police Department.
- Town Hall lobby remains closed due to COVID-19. Customers are encouraged to mail in payments and utilize the drop box at Town Hall.
- Pickin on the Square - Postponed until further notice.
- The Franklin ABC Store will be limiting operational hours. The store will close at 6:00 p.m. each day.
State of NC Launches New COVID-19 Web Portal
The State of North Carolina has launched a new COVID-19 web portal at nc.gov/covid19 in an effort to gather all the COVID-19 related information from a wide range of State agencies. The existing DHHS site at ncdhhs.gov/coronavirus will remain, and its content is accessible from the new site.
Utility Accounts Public Notice
Notice is hereby given that the Town of Franklin will suspend reconnection fees, late penalties and interest on Town of Franklin utility accounts for at least the next sixty (60) days. This is effective as of March 10, 2020, and is now extended pursuant to North Carolina Executive Order 124 and any extensions thereof.
We know that many of our customers are struggling during these difficult and uncertain times and we are committed to providing clean, safe drinking water so that you and your family can remain healthy. To make sure you are not surprised by a large past due balance later, we will continue to notify you when your account is past due. Our staff is available to work with you to set up a payment arrangement or assist with scheduling automatic payments.
Hard copies of North Carolina Executive Order 124 are available for pick up at Town Hall located at 95 East Main Street, Franklin, NC 28734. You may also download NCEO 124 here. For questions or assistance please call 828-524-2516.
CUSTOMER INQUIRIES & MAKING PAYMENTS
Attention all customer’s due to the growing concern for COVID-19 novel coronavirus, if you have a general question or inquiry please knock on the window at the Franklin Town Hall reception area during business hours and someone will be able to assist you.
If come to Franklin Town Hall to make a utility or tax payment please utilize the drop box payment located out front. If you need a receipt, please put that request in envelope and we can mail, fax, or email that to you. If you have a question regarding a utility or tax payment please call 828-524-2516.
For assistance or questions regarding these notices, please call the Town of Franklin at 828-524-2516.
INFORMATION FROM THE FRANKLIN POLICE DEPARTMENT
During the COVID-19 pandemic the world is currently facing, the Franklin Police Department will continually evaluate and update its day-to-day operations as needed. Changes in operation and response protocols will be implemented to protect sworn and non-sworn personnel and the public as we continue to serve the community. » READ THE LATEST UPDATES
Balsam West Establishes Free WI-FI Hotspot in Franklin
Balsam West has established a drive-in Wi-Fi hotspot that is free and open to the public at the Franklin Plaza parking lot in Franklin. The SSID is Balsamwest and the login is balsamwest . » More information at Balsam West
LOCAL BUSINESS RESOURCES
The new website, www.ReopeningMacon.com, is available for a full list of resources available to local businesses. Additional resources are below.
August 6 Update - NORTH CAROLINA DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE ANNOUNCES JOB RETENTION GRANTS
If your business or non-profit organization experienced interruption due to the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic, the new Job Retention Grant (JRG) Program may be able to offer assistance. The maximum grant amount may be up to two months of the eligible entity’s average monthly payroll costs from 2019 plus an additional 25% of that amount. The grant amount may not exceed $250,000.
To qualify to receive these grant funds, your organization must meet some specific eligibility requirements, which you can review below. We also encourage you to read carefully these instructions, which will help you gather the information and documentation you'll need before filling out the online application form.
NC Commerce provides answers to the most frequent questions about the program here, and you can also review the underlying law that authorizes the program.
Applications are being accepted from now until the application deadline of Tuesday, September 1, 2020 at 11:59pm. No applications will be accepted after that time. No grants will be awarded before the September 1 deadline, and the potential amount of each grant will not be determined until all applications have been reviewed and awarded.
The JRG team is available to assist you. Email your questions or comments to: firstname.lastname@example.org.
» GO TO THE ONLINE APPLICATION FORM
» Add Your Business to Reopening Macon Website (click "Add a Business" in the upper right corner)
» Count on Me NC - A free online training program to help restaurants, hotels and other businesses learn the best ways to protect customers and employees from COVID-19. » VISIT WEBSITE
March 26 , 2020 - UPDATE - Emergency Proclamation 2020-2
» READ PROCLAMATION HERE (pdf)
Overview (please read complete text of download above for complete information):
During the State of Emergency previously declared within the corporate jurisdiction of the Town of Franklin, all lodging facilities including hotels, motels, resorts, inns, guest houses, bed and breakfasts, campgrounds, RV parks, vacation cabins, home rentals, and any and all short term rentals or leases within the said jurisdiction are ordered to be closed to the public at 5:00 p.m. on Friday, March 27th, 2020. For purposes of this proclamation, the term 'short-term' shall mean for a term of less than twenty-eight (28) days in duration.
Existing non-short-term rentals or leases that are continuously occupied are excluded from the operation of this declaration. The following persons and activities are further
a. Employees and independent contractors of the Town, County of Macon, any provider of medical care, or government or public utility.
b. Military, National Guard, or law enforcement personnel deployed and/or assigned to assist local agencies during the Local State of Emergency.
c. Town residents who occupy a lodging facility due to circumstances that have rendered the person's usual place of residence uninhabitable.
d. Anyone ordered quarantined within a lodging facility by an appropriate public health official.
e. Homeless persons occupying a lodging facility prior to the effective date and time of this proclamation; use of lodging facilities needed to house the homeless of the Town of Franklin in an emergency related to the COVID-19 response.
f. Use of a lodging facility if used as an emergency facility to assist with the COVlD-l9 response
EFFECTIVE IMMEDIATELY OR UNTIL MODIFIED OR RESCINDED
Mass gatherings of persons in groups of more than 10 people are prohibited.. A mass gathering is defined as any event or convening that brings together more than 10 people in a single room or single space at the same time, such as an auditorium, stadium, area, large conference room, meeting hall, theater, or any other confined indoor or outdoor space. This includes parades, fairs, and festivals.
Childcare facilities are permitted to remain open pursuant to guidance from the NC Division of Child Development and Early Education.
Executive Orders issued and amended by the Governor of North Carolina including orders prohibiting or restricting the operation of business establishments, the congregation of people as well as the movement of people in public places, including but not limited to Executive orders number 116, 117, 118,119 and 120, will be enforced by local law enforcement officers or other agencies as appropriate.
All persons are urged to maintain social distancing (approximately six (6) feet away from other people) whenever possible and to continue to wash hands, and practice proper respiratory etiquette (including coughing into elbow).
lt is recommended lhat all persons whose point of departure originates from outside the area of , "community spread," currently including the states of New York, New Jersey, Washington, and Florida, and which shall also include other states which are subsequently designated areas of "community spread," and entering into the Town of Franklin for the Sole purpose of relocating temporarily into an area of less substantial spread, shall be subject to Quarantine and/or lsolation Orders by the Macon County Health Director in accordance with applicable state law and are hereby specificaily requested to quarantine or isolate themselves, as appropriate, for a period of fourteen (14) days to limit exposure to our residents and prevent a hardship for local infrastructure, including the healthcare industry.
March 17, 2020 - Town of Franklin Declares State of Emergency
» READ DECLARATION HERE (pdf)