COVID-19 Novel Coronavirus

Town of Franklin, NC Information For Citizens & Visitors
jessie collier tax collector town franklin nc

State of North CarolinaCoronavirus Information


North Carolina Announces Easing of COVID-19 Restrictions as Trends Stabilize

As North Carolina’s numbers continue to show improvement and vaccine distribution increases, Governor Roy Cooper announced today that the state will carefully ease some of its COVID-19 restrictions. Executive Order No. 195 will take effect February 26th at 5 pm and will expire March 26th at 5 pm.

» Read Executive Order 195
» Read FAQs

» Read Executive Order 189
» Read FAQs

» Read Executive Order 188

» Read Executive Order 181

town of franklin nc taxes licenses

Macon County NCCoronavirus Information


February 25 - COVID-19 Case Count Update:

68 Active Cases
2,871 Recovered
30 Deaths
2,969 Total Cases

Macon's Status Remains at RED or Critical Level in COVID-19 County Alert System
» Read Latest Report (PDF)

» MORE MACON COUNTY

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

February 25 - COVID-19 Case Count Update:
68 Active Cases of COVID-19 in Macon County
2,871 Recovered • 30 Deaths • 2,969 Total Cases

Total First Dose Vaccines Given by MCPH & Off-Site: 5,633

MACON COUNTY PUBLIC HEALTH VACCINATION UPDATES

macon county public health covid vaccine

covid-19 coronavirus vaccination franklin nc

February 24 Update - Macon County to Move to Group 3

Macon County is now beginning to move to Group 3, with only school staff and childcare workers eligible, at this time. To learn more about the vaccine groups, please visit NC DHHS by clicking here. Call 828-524-1500 to get registered.

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 19 Update - NCDHHS Notifies Counties of Weekly Vaccine Allotment and Approved Special Event

Macon County Public Health received notice that it will be receiving five-hundred (500) first doses of the COVID-19 vaccine per week, for the next three weeks. This number is based on population size. Our neighbors to the west in Clay County will continue to receive one-hundred (100) doses per week, while our neighbors in Jackson County Health department will receive five-hundred (500) doses per week. These shipments typically arrive on Tuesdays. This change does not affect those who are currently scheduled for second doses.

Macon County Public Health has been approved for a “Special Event” allotment, which will bring 1,170 additional doses to Macon County to be used in the Franklin area. These additional doses will be used over the next week (February 22nd to February 26th) to increase the amount of available appointments to those who are eligible. Individuals who are currently on the waiting list are being contacted to schedule appointments.

A small portion of the vaccines received by Macon County Public Health are going to vaccinate homebound individuals who live in Macon County, which is being coordinated through Senior Services and Emergency Services. MCPH is also working with area partners to reach out to Latino community members who fall in the 65+ age group.

Macon County Public Health will continue to update its social media pages to alert the public when the state and county advance to the next group of vaccination. At this time, Macon County Public Health and NCDHHS are in groups Groups 1 and 2, with Group 3, specifically school and childcare staff being eligible to receive vaccine on February 24th.

To register to receive the vaccine and to be contacted when appointments for your group are available, please call 828-524-1500. The vaccine call center is open from 8:00am – 5:00pm Monday through Friday, until further notice.

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.

covid-19 testing vaccine franklin north carolina

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.

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

February 24 Update - North Carolina Announces Easing of COVID-19 Restrictions as Trends Stabilize

» Read Executive Order 195
» Read FAQs

As North Carolina’s numbers continue to show improvement and vaccine distribution increases, Governor Roy Cooper announced today that the state will carefully ease some of its COVID-19 restrictions. Executive Order No. 195 will take effect February 26th at 5 pm and will expire March 26th at 5 pm.

Today’s Executive Order lifts the Modified Stay at Home Order requiring people to stay at home and businesses to close to the public between 10 pm and 5 am. The number of people who may gather indoors will increase from 10 to 25, while 50 remains the limit for outdoors. The curfew on the sale of alcohol for onsite consumption will be moved from 9 pm to 11 pm. Some businesses, including bars and amusement parks, will now be open for patrons indoors as they adhere to new occupancy restrictions. Many businesses, venues and arenas will have increased occupancy both indoors and outdoors.

Executive Order No. 195 has two general categories of occupancy restrictions: 30% capacity and 50% capacity. Because indoor spaces have a higher risk of spread for COVID-19, indoor facilities in the 30%-occupancy category may not exceed two hundred fifty (250) people per indoor room or indoor space.

Changes with this Executive Order:

30% Capacity Limit (may not exceed 250-persons in indoor spaces)

  • Bars
  • Meeting, Reception, and Conference Spaces
  • Lounges (including tobacco) and Night Clubs
  • Indoor areas of Amusement Parks
  • Movie Theatres
  • Entertainment facilities (e.g., bingo parlors, gaming establishments)
  • Sports Arenas and Fields*
  • Venues*

*Indoor  event venues with more than 5,000 seats may be excepted from the 250 person limit if they follow additional safety measures up to 15% capacity.

50% Capacity Limit 

  • Restaurants 
  • Breweries, Wineries, Distilleries
  • Fitness and Physical Activity Facilities (e.g., gyms, bowling alleys, rock climbing facilities)
  • Pools
  • Museums and Aquariums
  • Retailers
  • Outdoor areas of Amusement Parks
  • Salons, Personal Care, Tattoo Parlors

Governor Extends Stay at Home / Early Closure Order through February 28, 2021

» Read Executive Order 189 | » Read FAQs

» Read Executive Order 188

» Read Executive Order 181 | » Read FAQs | » Read All Executive Orders

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 27- NCDHHS Issues Secretarial Directive with Immediate Actions to Protect North Carolinians Remains in Effect

The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services issued a Secretarial Directive on January 06, 2021, 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.

For more information on the Secretarial Directive, read the Frequently Asked Questions.

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

February 22 - Macon County Reports Additional Deaths Related to COVID-19

Macon County Public Health received notification today that two Macon County residents diagnosed with COVID-19 have passed away. To protect the family´s privacy, no further information will be released about these individuals. These deaths bring Macon County to thirty (30) deaths related to COVID-19.

“The friends and family of these individuals are in our prayers and thoughts, as they mourn the loss of their loved ones,” said Health Director, Kathy McGaha. McGaha continued, “Macon County has begun our vaccination process, and while demand has outpaced out current supply, we are continuing to vaccinate as quickly as we can. It is essential that people continue to practice the 3Ws: wash our hands, wait 6 feet apart, and wear a mask, to protect our fellow citizens.”

February 19 - 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. To protect the family´s privacy, no further information will be released about this individual. This death brings Macon County to twenty-eight (28) deaths related to COVID-19.

“We are thinking about this individuals’ friends and family, and hope for their comfort as they mourn their loss,” said Health Director, Kathy McGaha. McGaha continued, “Macon County has begun our vaccination process, and while we wait for more vaccine, it is essential that people continue to practice the 3Ws: wash our hands, wait 6 feet apart, and wear a mask, to protect our fellow citizens.”

February 15 - 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 twenty-seven (27) deaths related to COVID-19.

Health Director, Kathy McGaha said, “This individual’s family and friends are in our thoughts and prayers. Any death from COVID-19 is a life gone too soon.” Ms. McGaha also stated, “Macon County has begun to vaccinate the community against COVID-19 to prevent future infections and death. However, while we still have a limited supply which has outpaced demand, it is important that our community continue to wash our hands, wait 6 feet apart, and wear a mask.”

February 11 - Macon County Leaders Encourage Registration for COVID-19 Vaccine

The supply of the North Carolina DHHS COVID-19 vaccine is limited at this time and a waiting list was established at the end of January. Currently, only individuals in Group 1 (health workers with in-person contact with patients) and Group 2 (Individuals over 65 years old) are eligible to receive the vaccine according to the DHS program from NC. However, Macon County leaders recommend residents to register to receive the vaccine regardless of the criteria of eligibleness. A description of the groups is below.

In preparation to receive the vaccine in the future, Macon County has opened registration to all individuals regardless of the criteria for eligible within which they are. Please note that if you are not in the Eligibility category 1 or 2 the time between your registration and an appointment could be several weeks or months. County Manager Derek Roland declares: "We recommend Macon County residents to register now so that when we receive the vaccine and other eligible groups open, appointments can be quickly scheduled. We appreciate your patience while waiting for the North Carolina DHHS vaccine ".

Macon County is distributing the Modern vaccine right now, which is available to people over the age of 18; however, other DHS CN sites are distributing the Pfizer vaccine, which is for people over 16 years.

Each vaccine distributing entity may raise the registration process differently, if you plan to receive a vaccine from a hospital, pharmacy or medical, the registration process will be different.

People must call 828-524-1500 to start the registration process and be added to the waiting list Once the North Carolina DHHS opens a new group and the vaccine is available, people on the waiting list will be scheduled first come first serve.

Macon County Schools Information

Wednesday, February 24 - COVID-19 Update

This afternoon we were notified of a positive case of COVID-19 at Franklin High 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, February 23 - COVID-19 Update

This afternoon we were notified of a positive case of COVID-19 at Franklin High 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, February 22 - COVID-19 Update

This afternoon we were notified of positive cases of COVID-19 at the following locations: South Macon Elementary School-1, Franklin High School-4, Macon Middle School-1, Union Academy-1 and Highlands 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, February 04 - Board of Education Meeting Update

This morning, the Macon County Board of Education met for a special called board meeting. The following items were on the agenda:

• Senate Bill 37/Governor’s Press Conference - Dr. Chris Baldwin
• Public Comment - John DeVille
• Virtual School Updates - Josh Lynch
• Macon County Public Health Update -Julie Rogers/Kathy McGaha

COVID-19 vaccinations for school system personnel was also a topic of discussion.

Macon County Schools will continue with the current plan for students. Franklin area grades K-4 will remain in Plan A, grades 5-12 will remain in Plan B. Macon Early College, Highlands School and Nantahala School will also remain on their current plans. If Senate Bill 37 is passed, Superintendent Dr. Chris Baldwin informed the Board that there would be an option of returning to Plan A for all students if current protocols are modified. The Macon County School System will continue to work closely with the Macon County Health Department as monitor COVID-19 among our students, staff and community.

» Download Macon County Schools Reopening Plan

» Find Latest Updates on MCS Facebook Page

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.

» VISIT NEW NORTH CAROLINA COVID-19 WEB PORTAL

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

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: jrg@nccommerce.com.

» GO TO THE ONLINE APPLICATION FORM

OTHER RESOURCES

» Download Macon Clean & Safe Business & Restaurant Posters (pdf)

» Add Your Business to Reopening Macon Website (click "Add a Business" in the upper right corner)

» See Reopening Resources for your business from the Macon County Ecomonic Development Commission

» 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 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)