COVID-19 Updates & Information
Update April 17th - 3:30pm
Today Mayor Dancy issued a newly amended proclamation of a State of Emergency. Most recently the Town was apart of a joint proclamation with Rutherford County, Bostic, Forest City, Lake Lure & Spindale that expired today at 6:00 am. While the Town is very much appreciative of our partner agencies and governments we fully understand the impact that this virus is having on our citizens, our families, our business, our churches, our hospital, our first responders, and our community. Over the past week, we have seen an increase in cases due to community spread. Based on guidance from the Foothills Health District these simple steps will help slow the spread of the virus. We also fully acknowledge the President's plan to reopen our economy and to get our community on a path back to normal, this trend of growing cases must decrease. To promote an environment locally that helps limit the community spread of COVID-19, the Mayor has issued an order that relies on us all to chip in and help knock out this virus. The order covers a few key ways to help based on CDC guidelines:
- Limits Mass Gatherings to no more than 10 people
- Requires Social Distancing of 6ft and encourages people to wear masks
- Requires handwashing as frequently as possible
- Requires Self Quartine for those traveling into Town from high spread areas, those awaiting test results and those with positive results.
The proclamation also reaches out to our business community for support, not based on essential or nonessential as all facets of our local economy are important. If businesses are allowed to be open by State or Federal orders they must provide a few measures to help limit the spread of the virus. These measures include:
- Hand Sanitizer and Sanitizing Products. Have hand sanitizer and sanitizing products readily available for employees and patrons to sanitize themselves and reduce cross-contamination. At a minimum at all entry and exits.
- Cleaning of High-Touch Surfaces. Implement a process and routine for sanitizing frequently handled surfaces such as door handles, tables, light switches, push plates, countertops, carts, gas pump handles and point of purchase devices
- Social Distancing. Encourage a minimum social distance of six (6’) feet between employees, patients, and customers.
We are all in this fight together and to slow the trend to al place to begin a phased approach to open our community back to normal we must all work together. This proclamation aids in that effort and we call upon all of the residents, businesses, governments, non-profits, and others in the community to work to create an environment that allows us to get back to the Rutherfordton that we all love. These items are not in greater restrictions than the Governor's orders however Mayor Dancy is calling on each of us to do our part to stop the spread of the virus. These measures are addressed by the governor's order in part and will remain in place locally until COVID-19 is under control and possibly after the expiration of the Governor's Executive Orders.
Resources on COVID-19 locally include:
COVID-19 Medical Screening Hotline (828) 289-1185
Text 28139 to 888777 for text alerts
Spread Love Not Germs
Update March 27th - Noon
Link to the Stay at Home Order
Frequently Asked Questions
RUTHERFORD COUNTY AND TOWNS STAY AT HOME ORDER FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Manufacturing, distribution and supply chain for critical products and industries
Organizations that provide charitable and social services
Healthcare and public health operations
Gas stations and businesses needed for transportation
Financial and insurance institutions
Hardware and supply stores
Critical trades (plumbers, electricians, etc)
Mail, post, shipping, delivery and pick up services
Home-based care and services
Residential facilities and shelters
Professional services (legal, accounting, real estate, etc)
Hotels and motels
How can I get medical care if I need it?
If you are feeling sick, call your doctor, the local COVID-19 medical screening hotline at (828) 289-1185 or an urgent care center. Do not go to an emergency room unless necessary. Nonessential medical care like eye exams and teeth-cleaning should be postponed. When possible, healthcare visits should be done remotely. Contact your healthcare provider to see what tele-health services they provide.
What if I still have to go to work?
Unless your work is an essential function (i.e. healthcare provider, grocery store clerk, first responder), you should stay home. If you have been designated essential by your employer, you should continue to go to work and practice social distancing.
What if I think my business should be closed but I’m still being asked to operate?
Essential businesses will remain open during the Stay at Home order to provide services that are vital to the lives of Rutherford County citizens. Those businesses include, but are not limited to those listed above. If you work for an essential business, you should continue to practice social distancing and should stay at home outside of work hours. If you believe your business is nonessential but are still being asked to show up to work, you may discuss with your employer.
Can I order food/groceries?
Yes, grocery delivery will be available as well as meal-delivery, drive through, and take-out options.
Will public transportation be available?
Public transportation is available and should be used for essential travel only. When possible, walk or drive yourself.
Will roads in and out of Rutherford County be closed?
No, the roads will not be closed in Rutherford County. You should only travel if it is essential to your work or health.
Can I visit friends and family?
For your safety, as well as the safety of those in your community, you should remain at home to help fight the spread of COVID-19. You may visit family members who need medical or other essential assistance, such as ensuring an adequate supply of food.
What about my pet?
You are allowed to walk your dog and seek medical care for your pet should they require it. Be sure to practice social distancing while out on walks, maintaining at least 6 feet from other neighbors and their pets.
Does the Stay at Home order mean I can’t take my kids to the park?
Families will still be able to go outside and take a walk, run, or bike rid but should continue to practice social distancing by remaining 6 feet away from other people.
What is the difference between the Stay at Home order and social distancing?
Social distancing is an important first step in preventing the spread of a disease like COVID-19 that allows people to go about their daily activities while taking extra health and safety precautions. The Stay at Home order requires people to remain in their homes unless they have an essential job or are doing an essential task like going to the grocery store or walking a pet.
Can I leave home to go to religious services?
A mass gathering is defined as any event or convening that brings together more than fifty (50) persons in a single room or single space at that same time, such as an auditorium, stadium, arena, large conference room, meeting hall, or any other confined indoor or outdoor space. This includes parades, fairs and festivals.
Can I leave home to exercise?
Yes. Outdoor exercise like running or taking a walk is perfectly acceptable; however, exercise gyms, fitness centers and associated facilities will be closed to reduce the spread of coronavirus. While exercising outside, you should still practice social distancing by running or walking at least six feet away from other people.
Can I pick up meals being provided by my child’s school?
Yes. Schools that provide free food services to students will continue on a pick-up and take-home basis. However, if you are experiencing symptoms or are currently in isolation, you should stay at home and follow the guidelines provided by your physician.
Can I go out to do laundry?
Yes. Laundromats, dry cleaners and laundry service providers are considered essential businesses that will remain open. However, if you are experiencing symptoms or are currently in isolation, you should stay at home and follow the guidelines provide by your physician.
Can I take my child to day care?
If you are considered an essential worker under the Order, you can take your child to a day care that is licensed on an emergency basis for the purpose of childcare for essential workers.
Update March 24th - Noon
Today the Town of Rutherfordton is implementing additional changes to Town operations and services to reduce employees’ and the public’s risk of exposure to illness while keeping our Town services functioning.
Additional changes may be implemented as necessary due to safety, staffing, or other concerns.
- Town offices will continue to operate, but with limited staff and staff will be working remotely a few days a week. If you have concerns please call or email before arriving at Town Buildings.
- The Public Works Department will maintain staffing at levels necessary to ensure sanitation collection services as well as maintaining other Town properties as needed.
-Police and Fire Departments will remain at current staffing levels, but shift changes may be implemented by the Chiefs of each Department as needed to ensure maximum coverage while also protecting our teams.
- No public access will be allowed to any Town building unless by appointment, or necessary and approved by the Town Manager.
- The April 1st Town Council meeting will occur in person at Town Hall to establish that all future meetings after the April 1st meeting of the Town Council and all Town Boards or Committees will be held by video call or conference call until further notice. Each elected or appointed body shall make every effort to meet remotely until further notice. We will post information on ways for the public to join these meetings via Zoom, Facebook live and other video streaming apps.
Citizens are encouraged to contact the Town via Report a Concern website portal or by emailing Town Manager Doug Barrick at firstname.lastname@example.org who will ensure that the appropriate person or persons receive the message as promptly as possible. The Town’s Facebook Messenger & Instagram DM will also be monitored regularly. We ask for your patience as we continue to serve you in new ways.
Key Staff Contacts can be found at http://www.rutherfordton.net/staff_directory/index.php
Main Dial In Line 828-287-3520
Update March 19th - 5:30 pm
- The Norris Library remains Closesd however we do offer a full suite of online resources.
Schools and libraries are closed in efforts to help prevent the spread of the COVID-19 virus. However, there are digital resources available through the library. There also online learning websites which are now available for free. Please check out some of these resources.
Check out digital books, audiobooks, and magazines that you may “check out” for free:
- Download and install the Libby App.
- Open the app and click yes when it asks if you have a library card.
- Next, select I’ll Search for A Library and then enter your zip code.
- The result list will show both the North Carolina Digital Library and NC Kids Digital Library. Your library card and PIN/Password will work with both.
- Once you select either NCDL or NC Kids Digital Library, you will select sign in with my library card. Then you will choose CMC Library Consortium from the drop-down list. Your username is your library card number (no spaces) and your PIN (default is the last 4 digits of your library card number.
- After signing in, you may then select enter the library and begin searching and checkout items. You just follow the instructions on the screen once you select the item you would like.
You may also access the digital checkouts from the North Carolina Digital Library website. https://ncdigital.overdrive.com/
There are also some great reading and learning websites that are available for your use for free.
Storyline Online http://www.storylineonline.net
We Give Books https://wegivebooks.org
International Children’s http://en.childrenslibrary.org
Switcheroo Zoo www.switcheroozoo.com
National Geo. For Kids www.kids.nationalgeographic.com
Fun Brain www.funbrain.com
Into the Book www.reading.ecb.org
Highlights Kids www.highlightskids.com
Watch the Norris Public Library Facebook page and website for more digital resources!
- NC 2-1-1 is now a resource for people to call for assistance related to the COVID-19 coronavirus.
Update: March 17th -5:30pm
As we work to continue to deliver core services the Town of Rutherfordton is working to keep our team and the public safe from the spread of the COVID-19 virus as best we can. At this time our protocols have not changed and the Norris Library will remain closed through Thursday. We are simultaneously working to transition to the Cardinal NC catalog system, once this is live we will evaluate the ability to curbside book exchanges for those looking for material. We do however want to be able to do this safely. Other relevant updates include:
All Town buildings remain on lockdown and employees are sanitizing in and out of the facilities for safety.
At this time, garbage & recycling collection will operate on a normal schedule.
We do still plan to hold the Town Council meeting scheduled for April 1st
As this situation is fluid, please check back for updates on the Town’s social media and website.
We ask anyone who is ill or sick to stay home. We encourage customers to practice social distancing and conduct any business they may have with the Town by phone. You can reach us by calling (828) 287-3520.
Important links for more information:
Centers for Disease Control - https://www.cdc.gov/
North Carolina Department of Health & Human Services - https://www.ncdhhs.gov/
Rutherford County Health Dept. http://www.foothillshd.org/tag/coronavirus/