COVID-19 Novel CoronavirusTown of Franklin, NC Information For Citizens & Visitors
Town of Franklin, NC COVID-19 Novel Coronavirus Public Notices, Information & Resources
November 25 - COVID-19 Case Count Update:
51 Active Cases of COVID-19 in Macon County, 867 Recovered, 9 Deaths | 927 Total Cases
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.
November 23 - Governor Cooper Tightens Face Mask Requirements and Enforcement
Governor Roy Cooper has issued additional COVID-19 safety measures to tighten mask requirements and enforcement as cases continue to rise rapidly in North Carolina and across the country. Executive Order No. 180 is now in effect and runs through Friday, December 11.
In addition to extending Phase 3 capacity limits and safety requirements, the Order tightens the existing statewide mask requirement – making it clear that everyone needs to wear a mask whenever they are with someone who is not from the same household. The Order also adds the mask requirement to several additional settings including any public indoor space even when maintaining 6 feet of distance; gyms even when exercising; all schools public and private; and all public or private transportation when travelling with people outside of the household.
The Order also requires large retail businesses with more than 15,000 square feet to have an employee stationed near entrances ensuring mask wearing and implementing occupancy limits for patrons who enter.
» Read Executive Order 180
» Read a Frequently Asked Questions document about the Order
North Carolina Extends Phase 3 of reopening. Effective through 5:00 pm, Friday December 4.
STATEWIDE REQUIREMENT FOR FACE COVERINGS FOR THOSE OVER AGE 5.
New in Phase 3 Extension
- The Mass Gathering Limit for indoor spaces is reduced from 25 to 10 people.
- The outdoor Mass Gathering limit remains at 50.
Current limits that remain the same under Phase 3 Extension:
This Order does not change the reduced capacity limits set out for certain facilities and venues, including:
- Fitness and exercise facilities remain open, subject to stated capacity limits and other requirements.
- Restaurants remain open, subject to stated capacity limits and other requirements.
- Personal care businesses remain open, subject to stated capacity limits and other requirements.
- Museums and aquariums remain open, subject to stated capacity limits and other requirements.
- Movie theaters remain open, subject to stated capacity limits and other requirements.
- Arenas and performing arts centers remain open, subject to stated capacity limits and other requirements.
- Meeting spaces in hotels, conference centers, meeting halls, and receptions venues may host receptions, meetings, and other functions, subject to capacity limits and other restrictions.
- The outdoor areas of amusement parks may reopen, subject to capacity limits and other restrictions. Indoor rides at amusement parks remain closed.
- Bars’ outdoor seating areas remain open, subject to reduced capacity limits and other restrictions. Indoor bar areas remain closed.
- Music halls, night clubs, lounges, adult entertainment, venues for live performances, and arenas with spectators where guests are seated remain open, subject to reduced capacity limits.
- Very Large Outdoor facilities with a capacity of more than 10,000 Guests remain open at 7% of the facility’s total seating capacity, if they meet certain requirements.
- Face coverings are still required in public when it is not possible to maintain social distancing from non-household members.
- Alcohol sales are still required to cease from 11 p.m. to 7 a.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.
Monday, November 23 - Macon County Reports Ninth Death Related to COVID-19
A Macon County resident diagnosed with COVID-19, passed away Sunday. The person was over the age of 65 and had underlying health conditions. This individual is not related any existing clusters or outbreaks, to the knowledge of Macon County Public Health. To protect the family´s privacy, no further information will be released about this patient.
“The family and loved ones of this individual are in our thoughts and prayers. With the approaching holiday and as more people gather indoors, please continue to practice the 3Ws and be mindful of those that are higher risk,” stated Kathy McGaha, Macon County Health Director.
Mrs. McGaha continued, “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.”
Thursday, November 12 - Macon County Public Health Identifies Two COVID-19 Outbreaks in Congregate Living Settings
Macon County Public Health has identified two COVID-19 outbreaks in Macon Valley Nursing Home and Eckerd Living Center. Two individuals have tested positive for COVID-19 at both facilities. All are well and isolated from others. Both facilities have been following the highest levels of Personal Protective Equipment standards while in their facility and especially when working with patients.
All the residents and staff of Macon Valley Nursing Home and Eckerd Living Center are being tested for COVID-19 at the direction MCPH’s Medical Director and both facilities’ leadership team, and plans are in place to isolate any other individuals, should there be a positive result. Macon Valley Nursing Home, Eckerd Living Center, and Macon County Public Health have been working together and have verified that both facilities have all the necessary PPE, sanitizing, and monitoring supplies and guidance they need to assure that any spread is minimal.
Both facilities will be closed to visitors to slow the risk of spread within the facility and to the community. All residents and staff of both facilities have been tested and are awaiting results. All residents and staff will be tested every week until there are two consecutive weeks of all negative results. When two consecutive weeks of negative results for all come back, then facilities can begin to allow minimal visitation again.
In addition to staff and residents, 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 15 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 Schools Update
Tuesday, November 24 - COVID-19 Update
This morning we were notified that a positive case of COVID-19 has been confirmed at Franklin High School and East Franklin Elementary School. 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, November 23 - COVID-19 Update
This morning we were notified that positive cases of COVID-19 have been confirmed at the following locations: Highlands-1, Macon Middle School-2, Franklin High School-1, Macon County Schools Support Staff-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, November 18 - COVID-19 Update
This afternoon we were notified that a positive case of COVID-19 has been confirmed 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.
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: email@example.com.
» 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)