COVID-19 Novel CoronavirusTown of Franklin, NC Information For Citizens & Visitors
Town of Franklin, NC COVID-19 Novel Coronavirus Public Notices, Information & Resources
MACON COUNTY PUBLIC HEALTH VACCINATION UPDATES
Macon County Public Health has now opened COVID-19 vaccines to all who want them the age of 18 or older. Call 828-524-1500 to schedule an appointment.
Macon County to Pause Johnson & Johnson Vaccine Distribution – Awaiting Further Review
Macon County Public Health, at the guidance of the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services, will pause its distribution of the Johnson and Johnson (Janssen) vaccine immediately. There are no appointments for the J&J vaccine scheduled at MCPH at this time. However, appointments for the Moderna vaccine are still available for those 18 years of age or older. If you would like to schedule an appointment, please call 828-524-1500. The Vaccine Call Center is open from 8:00am to 5:00pm Monday through Friday.
The CDC and the FDA are reviewing data involving six reported U.S. cases of a rare and severe type of blood clot in individuals after receiving the J&J vaccine. In these cases, a type of blood clot called cerebral venous sinus thrombosis (CVST) was seen in combination with low levels of blood platelets (thrombocytopenia). All six cases occurred among women between the ages of 18 and 48, and symptoms occurred 6 to 13 days after vaccination. Treatment of this specific type of blood clot is different from the treatment that might typically be administered. Usually, an anticoagulant drug called heparin is used to treat blood clots. In this setting, administration of heparin may be dangerous, and alternative treatments need to be given.
Pausing distribution of the J&J vaccine is important, in part, to ensure that the health care provider community is aware of the potential for these adverse events and can plan for proper recognition and management due to the unique treatment required with this type of blood clot.
Right now, these adverse events appear to be extremely rare. COVID-19 vaccine safety is a top priority, and we take all reports of health problems following COVID-19 vaccination very seriously. People who have received the J&J vaccine who develop severe headache, abdominal pain, leg pain, or shortness of breath within three weeks after vaccination should contact their health care provider. Health care providers are asked to report adverse events to the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System at https://vaers.hhs.gov/reportevent.html.
Macon County Public Health Vaccination Registration Updates
Macon County Public Health has begun to vaccinate all individuals who are 18 years of age or older, regardless of health status or employment. Macon County Public Health has worked through a majority of the existing waitlist, including those who previously qualified for their vaccine. Appointments are available to all who qualify and want the vaccine. Individuals that want to receive a COVID-19 vaccine, must call Macon County’s Vaccine Call Center at 828-524-1500 to register and schedule an appointment. The Macon County Vaccine Call Center is open Monday – Friday, from 8:00am to 5:00pm.
April 15 Update - Macon County Public Health Hosts Special Vaccine Event for 16 and 17 Year Olds in Macon County
With the help of regional partners, Macon County Public Health will be hosting a special vaccine event April 23rd to provide Pfizer vaccine to those who are sixteen (16) and seventeen (17) years old. Currently, Pfizer is the only vaccine approved for use for individuals as young as 16 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.
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 for April 23rd must call Macon County’s Call Center at 828-524-1500 no later than 5pm on April 21st to ensure enough vaccine is on hand.
All other individuals 18 years old and older who wish to receive a COVID-19 vaccine can call Macon County’s Vaccine Call Center at 828-524-1500 to register and schedule an appointment at another time.
Appointments are readily available with no waitlist. The Macon County Vaccine Call Center is open Monday – Friday, from 8:00am to 5:00pm.
February 24 Update - 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.
February 09 Update - NCDHHS Update
In case you missed it, the NC Department of Health and Human Services switched from a Phased approach to Groups. You can find out which group you fall into by answering a few questions here: https://findmygroup.nc.gov/ They will also send you an email when your group is able to be vaccinated.
NOTE: This is does NOT register you for the vaccine. If you would like to pre-register, call 828-524-1500 to register.
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.
STATE OF NC UPDATES
March 23 Update - Governor Cooper Announces North Carolina Will Relax Some COVID-19 Restrictions - State’s trends continue to move in the right direction and key indicators used to inform decisions throughout the pandemic remain stable
As North Carolina’s trends continue to show improvement and vaccine distribution increases with 31.7% of North Carolinians over 18 having received at least one dose of vaccine, Governor Roy Cooper announced today that the state will continue to ease some COVID-19 restrictions.
Executive Order No. 204 will take effect March 26 at 5 pm is set to expire April 30 at 5 pm. The state’s general mask mandate remains in effect.
CHANGES WITH NEW EO
Executive Order No. 204 has three general categories of occupancy restrictions: up to 100 percent capacity, 75 percent capacity, and 50 percent capacity. All businesses must continue to maintain the 6 feet of distance requirement between patrons and implement other safety protocols as they expand their capacity.
Executive Order No. 204 will also increase mass gathering limits. The number of people who may gather indoors will increase from 25 to 50 and the number of people who may gather outdoors will increase from 50 to 100. This Order also fully lifts the restriction on the late-night sale and service of alcoholic beverages on bars, restaurants, and other establishments.
Indoors and Outdoors up to 100% Capacity, Subject to Masks and 6 ft. Social Distancing
Museums and Aquariums
Salons, personal care and grooming businesses, tattoo parlors
Indoors up to 75% and Outdoors up to 100% Capacity, Subject to Masks and 6 ft. Social Distancing
Breweries, Wineries, and Distilleries
Recreation (e.g., bowling, skating, rock climbing)
Fitness and Physical Activity Facilities (e.g., gyms, yoga studios, fitness centers)
Indoors and Outdoors up to 50% Capacity, Subject to Masks and 6 ft. Social Distancing
Meeting, Reception, and Conference Spaces
Lounges (including tobacco) and Night Clubs
Auditoriums, Arenas, and other venues for live performances
Sports Arenas and Fields (includes professional, collegiate, and amateur
*Movie theaters and gaming facilities may operate at up to 75% capacity outdoors.
Activities and settings are lower risk when they involve interacting with fewer people, being outside, keeping masks on the entire time, keeping interactions with people short (under 15 minutes), staying physically distant, and avoiding singing, yelling, and cheering, according to public health officials.
State health officials are continuing to monitor the presence of COVID-19 and its more contagious variants in North Carolina, which is why it is important to continue to have a mask mandate and continue to practice safety precautions, including the Three Ws—wear a mask, wait 6 feet apart, and wash hands often. » READ MORE
MACON COUNTY PUBLIC HEALTH UPDATES
April 14 - Macon County Reports Additional Death Related to COVID-19
Macon County Public Health received notification that a Macon County resident diagnosed with COVID-19 has passed away. To protect the family´s privacy, no further information will be released about this individual. This death brings Macon County to thirty-three (33) deaths related to COVID-19.
“The family and friends of this individual are in our thoughts and prayers,” said Health Director, Kathy McGaha. McGaha continued, “Macon County’s vaccination process is underway, and there are appointments available for this lifesaving vaccine for all age 18 and over. The more individuals who get this vaccine, the more likely that we will stop seeing COVID-19 deaths.”
Macon County Schools Information
Tuesday, April 20 - COVID-19 Update
This afternoon we were notified of a positive case of COVID-19 at South Macon 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.
Monday, April 19 - COVID-19 Update
This afternoon we were notified of a positive case of COVID-19 at Macon Early College. 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.
Macon County Schools Learning Schedule
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
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)