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In a preventive measure intended to lessen the impact of COVID-19 (novel coronavirus) on the community, Ashe County will require a 14-day self-quarantine period of all people entering the county for overnight stays. The measure became effective Wednesday, April 1.

This new amendment to Ashe County’s State of Emergency Declaration was added in an effort to reduce the possibility of the spread of COVID-19 by people arriving into Ashe from other jurisdictions. The goal of the 14-day self-quarantine period is to reduce stress on medical facilities, emergency services and other local resources should community spread of the novel coronavirus occur in Ashe due to people arriving from other locations.

“Requiring people traveling into Ashe County for overnight stays to self-quarantine for 14 days is not a small thing,” Ashe County Manager Adam Stumb said. “We understand that this is going to be a hardship for many folks, even many local residents, but when you’re faced with a threat as serious as COVID-19 you have to make big decisions early to protect the community.”

This mandatory order is applicable to both Ashe residents and non-residents alike when arriving into Ashe County for overnight stays, if their arrival was proceeded by overnights outside of Ashe. The self-quarantine period shall be for 14 days, or seven days, after symptoms have resolved, whichever is longer. Any violation of this provision, or any other provision in Ashe County’s State of Emergency Declaration, is a Class 2 Misdemeanor.

The only exemption to this order, made in the interest of public health, would be for commuting workforce deemed to be “essential” under North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper’s recently announced Stay at Home Order, or for anyone brought into the county by the Ashe County Emergency Management Coordinator, the AppHealthCare Director or the Ashe County Sheriff, or their designees, in an emergent response.

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