COVID-19 Novel Coronavirus

Town of Franklin, NC Information For Citizens & Visitors

Town of Franklin COVID-19 Novel Coronavirus Public Notices, Information & Resources

NEW! If you're planning to travel to Franklin, NC or Macon County, NC please see the below information concerning the COVID-19 pandemic response in our Town and County. Please read the following carefully. Residents should also read & adhere to the information and guidelines that are outlined below:

  • The entire state of North Carolina is under a “Stay at Home” order, effective Monday, March 30, 2020, 5:00 p.m., per NC Executive Order No. 121. People should stay at their residence and limit social interactions and travel to essential activities.

  • All Persons whose point of departure is identified as a “community spread” area, who enter Macon County, shall be subject to Quarantine and/or Isolation Orders by the Macon County Health Director; and are hereby requested to self-quarantine or self-isolate for a period of (14) days to limit exposure to our residents and prevent a hardship on our healthcare system. Effective Friday, March 27, 2020, 5:00 p.m., per Macon County Regulation Imposed in Macon County, NC, in connection with COVID-19.

  • No Mass Gatherings of persons in groups of more than 10 people are allowed. Effective Thursday, March 26, 2020, 5:00 p.m., per Macon County Regulation Imposed in Macon County, NC, in connection with COVID-19.

  • All Lodging Facilities are closed, effective Friday, March 27, 2020, 5:00 p.m., per Macon County Regulation Imposed in Macon County, NC, in connection with COVID-19 including: Hotels, Motels, Resorts, Inns, Guest Houses, Bed and Breakfasts, Campgrounds, RV Parks, Vacation Cabins & House Rentals o For a list of exemptions, see www.maconnc.org.

  • Restaurants are restricted to carry-out, drive-through and delivery only. Bars are closed. Effective Tuesday, March 17, 2020, 5:00 p.m., per NC Executive Order No. 118.

  • Only Essential Businesses are open. All other businesses are closed except for minimal basic operations. Effective Monday, March 30, 2020, 5:00 p.m., per NC Executive Order No. 121.

  • Public playgrounds and their equipment are closed. People may go to public parks and open outdoor recreation areas while following social distancing and mass gathering guidelines. Effective Monday, March 30, 2020, 5:00 p.m., per NC Executive Order No. 121.

  • Most National Forest Access Points are closed. See www.fs.usda.gov/nfsnc or www.facebook.com/nfsnc for the recreation information.

  • For questions, call 2-1-1.

» Regulations Imposed in Macon County, NC, in Connection with COVID-19 (pdf document)

March 27, 2020 - Governor Roy Cooper issues Executive Order 121, a statewide Stay at Home Order beginning Monday, March 30 at 5 p.m. until April 29, 2020. The Executive Order directs people to stay at home except to visit essential businesses, to exercise outdoors or to help a family member. Specifically, the order bans gatherings of more than 10 people and directs everyone to physically stay at least six feet apart from others.

» READ EXECUTIVE ORDER 121 (pdf) • READ FAQs PERTAINING TO EO121 (pdf)

March 27, 2020 - Franklin Town Council Meetings Public Notice

Notice is hereby given that the Town Council meetings scheduled for April 6 and April 14, 2020 have been cancelled. The meetings will be combined and rescheduled as a Special Called Meeting to discuss regular business and to include a budget work session for April 13, 2020 at 5:30 p.m. at the Town Hall board room located at 95 East Main Street, Franklin, NC.

Onsite access to the meeting will not be permitted to the public, but there will be a link to a live stream of the meeting found on the front page of www.franklinnc.com in the coming days.

Anyone wishing to make a public comment shall have an opportunity to submit questions or comments via email to contactus@franklinnc.com that will be read during the meeting. Comments and/or questions may also be mailed to P.O. Box 1479, Franklin, NC 28744.

The deadline for these will be Monday April 13, 2020 at 12:00 p.m.

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 exempted:
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)

CLOSURES & CANCELLATIONS

  • NEW - Memorial Park will be closed through April 30, 2020
  • Events and Festivals that are booked through the Town for the use of the Gazebo will be suspended all through March and April
  • All street closings for events are canceled March through April

  • SCHEDULE CHANGES

  • The Franklin ABC Store will be limiting operational hours. The store will close at 6:00 p.m. each day.


    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

  • The Town of Franklin will post further updates as needed on this page.

    From the State of North Carolina

    March 27, 2020 - Governor Roy Cooper issues Executive Order 121, a statewide Stay at Home Order beginning Monday, March 30 at 5 p.m. until April 29, 2020. The Executive Order directs people to stay at home except to visit essential businesses, to exercise outdoors or to help a family member. Specifically, the order bans gatherings of more than 10 people and directs everyone to physically stay at least six feet apart from others.

    » READ EXECUTIVE ORDER 121 (pdf) • READ FAQs PERTAINING TO EO121 (pdf)

    March 27: Governor Roy Cooper announced today that parents who need food assistance for their children can text FOODNC to 877-877 to locate nearby free meal sites. The texting service is also available in Spanish by texting COMIDA to 877-877.

    March 25: Governor Roy Cooper and NCDHHS Secretary Mandy Cohen urge North Carolinians to stay at home if they can and maximize social distancing. People who feel sick and have mild symptoms, should stay home and call their doctor.

    Businesses are encouraged to get social distancing, telework plans in place immediately. » Read more

    March 23: Governor Cooper Issues Executive order 120 closes K-12 public school statewide through May 15, bans mass gatherings over 50 people, closes some businesses. » Read Executive Order 120

    NC Department of Health & Human Services asks for health care volunteers to assist with COVID-19. » Read Request

    March 21: Governor Cooper Issues Executive order waiving restrictions on child care and elder care, provides DMV flexibilities. » Read Executive Order 119

    March 17: Governor Cooper Issues Executive Order to Close Sit-Down Service at Restaurants and Bars and Make State Unemployment Benefits More Widely Available. » Read Executive Order 118

    » Read All COVID-19 Executive Orders

    » NCDHHS (North Carolina Department of Health & Human Services) Coronavirus Information

    From Macon County

    March 26 - Supplemental Proclamation of State of Emergency for Macon County, North Carolina » READ PROCLAMATION

    March 25 - Macon County Economic Development Commission information & resources for the local business community affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. » READ MORE

    Overview (please read above for full context of declaration):

    Mass gatherings of persons in groups of more than 10 people are prohibited effective 6:00 p.m, Thursday, March 26, 2020.

    It is hereby unlawful to sell or rent or offer to sell or rent any goods or services which are consumed or used as a direct result of an emergency or which are consumed or used to preserve, protect, or sustain life, health, safety, or economic well-being of persons or property with the knowledge and intent to charge a price that is unreasonably excessive under the circumstances or engage in any price gouging practices as defined by General Statutes.

    Effective Friday, March 27, 2020 at 5:00 p.m., all lodging facilities including hotels, motels, resorts, inns, guest houses, bed and breakfasts, campgrounds, RV Parks, vacation cabins, home rentals, and any and all rentals or leases through other rental programs or places where the rentals or leases are for use of less than twenty-eight (28) days in duration, or the rentals or leases are for more than twenty-eight (28) days in duration but are not occupied on a consistent basis, in Macon County, North Carolina, less the Town of Highlands and the Town of Franklin shall be closed EXCEPT as provided by the exemptions.

    All passengers and crew members arriving at the Macon County Airport will be screened by Macon County Personnel designated by the Macon County Emergency Management Coordinator who have been properly trained to conduct the same or other individuals who have been designated by the Macon County Emergency Management Coordinator who have been properly trained to conduct the same for COVID-19 symptoms including fever. Anyone screened who is symptomatic or presents with a fever will be referred to an appropriate medical
    professional and shall be subject to Quarantine and/or Isolation Orders by the Macon County Health Director in accordance with applicable North Carolina State Law to limit exposure to our residents and prevent a hardship on our healthcare system.

    All persons whose point of departure originates from outside the area of Macon County in an area of "community spread", which currently includes the States of New York, New Jersey, Washington, and Florida, and which will also include other States which are subsequently designated areas of "community spread", and who enter into Macon County for the sole purpose of relocating temporarily into an area of less community spread, shall be subject to Quarantine and/or Isolation Orders by the Macon County Health Director in accordance with applicable North Carolina State Law and are hereby specifically requested to self-quarantine or self-isolate themselves, as appropriate, for a period of fourteen (14) days to limit exposure to our residents and prevent a hardship on our healthcare industry.

    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

    March 17 - Macon County Issues State of Emergency - Does not include the Municiple limits of Franklin and Highlands, NC » READ PROCLAMATION

    March 16 - MACON COUNTY PUBLIC HEALTH
    Press Release - New York City Resident Tests Positive for COVID-19, Isolating in Macon County

    A New York resident that tested positive for COVID – 19 is being monitored and following isolation orders in Macon County. The test, conducted by the North Carolina State Laboratory of Public Health, is presumptively positive and will be confirmed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The patient is doing well and is in isolation. The patient is a resident of New York State and traveled to Buncombe County, where they became ill and were tested, and then traveled to Macon County. Since cases are reported under the state of residency, this case will be identified as a New York State case, not a North Carolina case. Therefore, this case will not show up on the North Carolina maps as a Macon County case.

    While awaiting confirmation of results from the CDC, the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services and Macon County Public Health will treat presumptive cases as positive and follow CDC guidelines to protect public health and limit the spread of infection. The Macon County and Buncombe County Health Departments are working to identify close contacts. 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.

    Because COVID-19 is most commonly spread through respiratory droplets, North Carolinians should take the same measures that health care providers recommend to prevent the spread of the flu and other viruses, including washing your hands, avoiding touching your face, staying home if you are sick and covering coughs and sneezes with your elbow.

    It is important to make sure the information you are getting about COVID-19 is coming directly from reliable sources like Macon County Public Health, CDC, and NCDHHS. For more information, please visit the CDC’s website at www.cdc.gov/coronavirus and NCDHHS’ website at www.ncdhhs.gov/coronavirus, which will also include future positive COVID-19 test results in North Carolina. Macon County Public Health regularly updates our Facebook page with accurate and current information regarding COVID-19, we encourage the public to check our Facebook page for up-to-date information.

    Symptoms for COVID-19 are fever, cough, and 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.

    » Macon County Public Health Facebook Page Link

    Coronavirus Related Announcements & Resources

    To keep our Citizens, Businesses and Visitors alike informed of the latest developments on COVID-19, the Town of Franklin has compiled a list of resources that you can utilize to keep up-to-date on the latest information and resources available.

    The links below will take you to different websites and will open a new window on your device.

    March 18 - Local Law Enforcement has received reports of telephone calls to local residents claiming to be representing various government agencies offering financial assistance related to the COVID-19 or the novel coronavirus. DO NOT provide any information to anyone over the phone if you receive such a call. People such as this look for different ways to scam citizens and are now using the current situation to take advantage of our most vulnerable citizens... the elderly. Please let your family and friends know about this scam.

    » CDC (Centers for Disease Control) Coronavirus Information
    » WHO (World Health Organization) Coronavirus Information
    » NCDHHS (North Carolina Department of Health & Human Services) Coronavirus Information