COVID-19 Novel Coronavirus

Town of Franklin, NC Information For Citizens & Visitors
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State of North CarolinaCoronavirus Information

Some North Carolinians can now have five free COVID-19 home tests shipped directly to them, thanks to the expansion of a partnership between NCDHHS and the Rockefeller Foundation through Project ACT. Find out if you are eligible and order the free tests by searching your zip code on the Project ACT website: accesscovidtests.org(Spanish).

» NC COVID-19 Web Portal

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

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Macon County NCCoronavirus Information


Call Macon County Public Health at 828-349-2081 to schedule your vaccination.

September 30 - COVID-19 Case Count Update (updated on Fridays):

10 - Active Cases
9,204 - Recovered
127 - Deaths
9,341 - Total Cases

Total First Doses Given - 13,328
Total Vaccines Given - 26,596

Macon's Community Transmission status is LOW

» MORE MACON COUNTY

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

If you believe that you may have COVID-19, please call the Health Department at 828-349-2081 to schedule an appointment for a test.

Macon County Public Health will now offer Covid-19 Testing on the following schedule:
Mondays: 8:30am -9:30am
Tuesdays: 1:30pm-2:30pm
Wednesdays: NO TESTING
Thursdays: 1:30pm-2:30pm
Fridays: 8:30am-9:30am

Testing is by appointment only. Please call 349-2081 to make an appointment.

June 30 - COVID Cases on the Rise in Macon County

Macon County Public Health is seeing a rise in COVID cases in Macon County. As school summer break is underway and people prepare for summer vacations, a COVID resurgence is starting to take place in Macon County. Case counts are as high as they’ve been since mid-February, following the Omicron Surge, and we know those figures are likely undercounted because of unreported positive home test results and asymptomatic infections. Hospitalizations are also upward trend throughout NC.

“Although the level of COVID in Macon County is still considered low compared to surrounding counties, once exposed, your risk of catching the disease is still high” said Dr. Donald Dewhurst, Medical Director.
“Wearing a well-fitting mask indoors in public and receiving a COVID-19 vaccine remains your best protection from getting sick, preventing severe illness, hospitalization, and death” said Health Director, Kathy McGaha.

If you believe that you may have COVID-19, please call the Health Department at 828-349-2081 to schedule an appointment for a test. To register and schedule an appointment to receive a COVID-19 vaccination, please call 828-349-2081.

June 24, 2022 / MCPH - Monkeypox Case Confirmed in Region One

The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services has recently confirmed the first positive case of monkeypox within North Carolina. This case has occurred within our region 1. Macon County Public Health is working closely with NC DHHS to make sure we remain up to date on all aspects of prevention, treatment, spread, and risk factors identified by the CDC. Currently, there is no great risk identified for the general public.

Monkeypox is transmitted to humans through close contact with an infected person or animal. It can also be transmitted from person to person through close contact with body fluids and lesions, hugging, kissing, talking closely, as well as fabrics/bedding/surfaces that have been contaminated with the virus. Individuals infected with monkeypox may develop a fever, rash, swollen lymph nodes, head/body aches, chills, and exhaustion.

The CDC have been tracking multiple cases of monkeypox that have been reported in several countries that do not normally report monkeypox, including the United States. This virus has and will continue to be monitored diligently by health officials.

Please follow the link to the CDC website for current and accurate data surrounding this virus: https://www.cdc.gov/poxvirus/monkeypox/index.html.

May 24, 2022 - Macon County Sees Increase in COVID-19 Cases

As the United States and North Carolina are experiencing an increase in the number of COVID-19 cases, Macon County is also experiencing a similar trend of reported cases over the past several weeks. Although far below peak Omicron Surge levels from early 2022, Macon County’s weekly rate of new cases has increased 105 percent since the beginning of May.

“Wearing a well-fitting mask indoors in public and receiving a COVID-19 vaccine remains your best protection from getting sick, preventing severe illness, hospitalization, and death” said Health Director, Kathy McGaha. McGaha continued, “Although we have seen a significant decline in COVID-19 cases since the beginning of the year; residents can continue to protect themselves by receiving the COVID-19 vaccine and booster if eligible and wearing a mask while indoors in public.”

If you believe that you may have COVID-19, please call the Health Department at 828-349-2081 to schedule an appointment for a test. To register and schedule an appointment to receive a COVID-19 vaccine, please call 828-349-2081.

May 2022 - Infant Formula Shortage

Some families in North Carolina are facing challenges accessing infant formulas. These challenges are related to the February recall of certain Abbott infant formulas, the resulting increased demand for other brands of formula, and the lingering effects of supply issues during the pandemic. During these on-going shortages, our top priority is to help families access safe, healthy feeding options for their infants. NCDHHS provides the following recommendations on what families can do and what they should avoid.

What can families do?

  • If a family is not able to find formula for their child, they should work with the child’s health care provider to determine the best feeding plan. For cow's milk-based formula, a comparable otherbrand, including generic or store brand, smaller manufacturer, or organic options are generally fine.

  • Families can turn to community organizations, reputable online retailers, distributors, and manufacturers as sources for finding formula. Contact United Way’s 2-1-1 or dial 2-1-1 to be connected to a community resource specialist affiliated with United Way who may be able to help you identify food pantries and other charitable sources of local infant formula and baby food. Certain milk banks accredited by the Human Milk Banking Association of North America are distributing donated breast milk to mothers in need; please note that some may require a prescription from a medical professional. Find an HMBANA-accredited milk bank near you.

  • Families can contact manufacturers for help in finding formula:
    o MyGerber Baby Expert
    o Abbott’s Consumer Hotline: call 1-800-986-8540 and urgent product request line
    o Reckitt’s (Mead Johnson) Customer Service line: call 1-800 BABY-123 (222-9123)

  • Families using a combination feeding of breast milk and iron-fortified infant formula may wish to consider increasing the frequency of breastfeeding or pumping so that they do not need as much formula. Families can reach out to a local lactation specialist to try and help increase their supply of breastmilk.

    WIC is the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children that provides benefits for healthy foods, breastfeeding education and support, and health care referrals for low income families. For infants enrolled in the program, WIC provides supplemental assistance to help cover the cost of infant formulas in the first year of life.

    WIC participants who cannot find formula in local stores should first contact their local WIC agency to get help finding available formula in the community. If formula is not available in local stores, the local WIC agency may be able to submit an order request for the formula from the manufacturer through the state WIC agency, pending availability.

    For WIC participants with a specialized formula prescription, a medical provider must change the prescription. Talk with your child’s health care provider about possible options during the shortage.

    The WIC program also provides breastfeeding support and resources to families. Families participating in WIC may contact their local WIC clinic for additional breastfeeding support and breast pump issuance as appropriate.

    • Women who are pregnant are encouraged to consult with a health care provider about breastfeeding their infant. Families feeding a baby with donor breast milk should only use milk from a source that has screened its milk donors and taken other precautions to ensure the safety of its milk, such as those accredited by the Human Milk Banking Association of North America.

    • If you see a formula price that seems too high, report it to the North Carolina Department of Justice by filing a complaint at https://ncdoj.gov/gouging or by calling 1-877-5-NO-SCAM.

    • Families needing help with formula costs who have not applied for assistance are encouraged to learn more about WIC at https://www.nutritionnc.com/wic/ or apply for FNS (formerly known as food stamps) at https://epass.nc.gov.

    What should families avoid?

    • Do NOT make homemade infant formula. Homemade formula recipes can be very dangerous for babies since they have not been evaluated by the FDA and may lack nutrients vital to an infant’s growth.

    • Do NOT water down formula to stretch it out; it can be extremely dangerous to your baby to do so. Always follow formula label instructions or those given to you by your health care provider.

    • Toddler formula and plant-based milk alternatives are not recommended before a child’s first birthday.

    • Do NOT buy formula from online auctions, unknown individuals, or unknown origins. Storage and shipping conditions may impact formula safety. Formula from outside the United States is not regulated by the FDA, though the FDA is now exploring safe options for importing formula from other countries.

    What is NCDHHS doing to help families?

    • Through the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC), NCDHHS is helping to connect families participating in WIC directly to needed formula and placing bulk orders with manufacturers on behalf of local WIC agencies and the families they serve.

    • Using flexibility from the federal government to make it easier for WIC participants to access available formula. North Carolina is already using available USDA rule waivers to help retailers continue to serve WIC-enrolled families during the shortage and help families return or exchange formulas included in the recall.

    • Working with the federal government to waive additional rules for the WIC program to make it easier for WIC participants to access available formula. North Carolina has requested waivers that would give WIC-enrolled families more flexibility to purchase other types of formula and in a wider variety of sizes based on availability and health care provider recommendations.

    • Providing guidance to local WIC agencies and health care providers to make it easier for health care providers to give WIC-enrolled families several options of formula types and sizes on a single prescription to meet their children’s specialized formula needs.

    • Monitoring the fluctuating formula supply across the state and keeping our partner organizations updated.

    What other resources are available?

    • HHS: Helping Families Find Formula
    • President Biden’s Fact Sheet
    • AAP/Healthychildren.org Resource for Parents
    • FDA Consumer Page on Powdered Infant Formula Recall
    • USDA Infant Formula Safety
    • FDA Infant Formula: Safety Do’s and Don’ts
    • NCDHHS WIC Program
    • USDA WIC Breastfeeding
    • NCDHHS Breastfeeding Promotion and Support
    • CDC’s Relactation Resources
    • WHO/UNICEF’s Maximising Breastmilk and Supporting Re-lactation
    • Ready, Set, Baby
    • Establishing and Making Enough Milk
    • Ready, Set, Baby Live Online Classes Schedule

November 2021 - COVID-19 Vaccines Now Available for those 5 to 11 at Macon County Public Health

Macon County Public Health to provide the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine to those who are five (5) years old and older. Currently, Pfizer is the only vaccine authorized for use for individuals as young as 5 years of age. In addition to the benefits of vaccination, the ability to vaccinate school age children will help to reduce the number of quarantines and allow students, once fully vaccinated, to remain face-to-face for instruction regardless of exposure.

The benefits of COVID-19 vaccination outweigh the known and potential risks. Typical reactions to the vaccine in children are pain at the injection site, redness, and swelling and your child may experience other reactions like tiredness, headache, muscle pain, chills, fever, or nausea these symptoms usually go away within a few days of the vaccination.

A legal guardian of the student must be present for those under the age of eighteen (18) to receive the vaccination. Those who wish to schedule an appointment must call Macon County’s Call Center at 828-524-1500 to schedule an appointment.

Appointments are readily available with no waitlist. The Macon County Vaccine Call Center is open Monday – Friday, from 8:00am to 5:00pm.

October 2021 - COVID-19 BOOSTERS AVAILABLE FOR FULLY VACCINATED GROUPS TO MAINTAIN PROTECTION

Individuals who have received the primary two doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna and the one dose Johnson and Johnson COVID-19 vaccinations may be eligible for a booster vaccine to support the body’s immune response to COVID-19. Appointments are available at Macon County Public Health to all who meet the criteria for a booster dose.

Those who received the Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna may be eligible for a booster vaccine as approved by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for the following groups of people who received their second Pfizer vaccine at least six months ago. These recommendations apply to those who received the Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna COVID-19 vaccination for their first two vaccines, and they may get either booster with ANY of the available vaccines:
•Patients 65 years of age or older,
•Patients 18 years of age or older who are a resident of a long term care facility,
•Patients aged 18 to 64 who have an underlying health condition that puts them at higher risk for severe COVID-19*,
•Patients aged 18 to 64 who have an occupational or institutional exposure to COVID-19** .

Those 18 and older who received the Johnson and Johnson (J&J) vaccine are approved to get a booster vaccine by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). They must have received their J&J vaccine at least two months ago. Those who received the J&J one shot vaccine are able to choose any of the available vaccines for their booster.

The Pfizer-BioNTech booster vaccine is also approved by the CDC for the following groups of people who received their second Pfizer vaccine at least 28 days prior ***. These recommendations, currently, only apply to those who received the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccination for their first two vaccines:
•Patients 12 years of age and older who are moderately or severely immunocompromised.

Those who meet the above criteria are encouraged to schedule their vaccine booster appointment, by calling Macon County Public Health at 828-349-2081. The booster vaccine is available at no cost to those who are eligible, regardless of their insurance status. If you are insured, you are asked to bring your insurance card to your appointment. You do not have to receive your booster at the same location that you received your primary COVID-19 vaccinations. However, you MUST bring your vaccination card that you received with your initial vaccine.

Each COVID-19 vaccine (Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna, and J&J) is working to prevent severe illness, hospitalization, and death, in people who are fully vaccinated, if they become infected with the virus that causes COVID-19. However, with increased variant transmission, researchers are seeing a decrease in protections in those who are fully vaccinated and at additional risk, either due to their immune system or individual risk factors (like their occupation or living situation).

These booster vaccinations will give these individuals the protection that they may have lost over time. There is not currently data to support vaccine boosters in the general population, because the general population has not seen the same decrease in protection, though it is possible that a vaccine booster will be recommended to the general public in the future.

Older adults and people of any age who have serious underlying medical conditions may 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 recommendations and continue to practice social distancing, as well as safe hygiene measures such as hand washing and frequently cleaning touched objects and surfaces. Everyone who is eligible is encouraged to receive the COVID-19 vaccine, a safe and effective prevention tool.

If you believe that you may have COVID-19, please call the Health Department at 828-349-2081 to schedule an appointment for a test. To register and schedule an appointment to receive a COVID-19 vaccine, please call 828-349-2081.

* Health Conditions That May Put A Person At Higher Risk Of Severe COVID-19: Cancer, Chronic kidney disease, Chronic lung diseases (like COPD, asthma, interstitial lung disease, cystic fibrosis, and pulmonary hypertension), Dementia, Other Neurological conditions, Diabetes, Down syndrome, Heart conditions, HIV infection, Weakened immune system, Liver disease, Obesity, Pregnancy, Sickle cell disease, Smoking (current or former), Organ or blood transplant, Stoke or cerebrovascular disease, and Substance use disorders.

** Those At Risk For Occupational and Institutional Exposures: Healthcare workers, Teachers/Educational staff, Correctional staff and inmates, First responders, Food and agricultural workers, Grocery store staff, Group home residents.

***Patients between the ages of 12-15 years of age must have parental/guardian consent to receive the COVID-19 vaccine and COVID-19 booster vaccine.

Macon Transit Offers Free Transportation for Vaccinations

Need a ride to your COVID-19 vaccine appointment? Macon County Transit (MCT) is offering FREE rides to get your vaccine. Call today to schedule your ride 349-2222.

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.

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.

» READ THE LATEST CDC GUIDANCE ON HOW TO PROTECT YOURSELF AND OTHERS FROM COVID-19

COVID-19 Safety Franklin NC

 

PUBLIC NOTICES

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

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)