WATAUGA COUNTY — The town of Blowing Rock is closing public access to its town hall, public works and parks and recreation public buildings until at least March 23, Town Manager Shane Fox announced March 16.
“Due to health concerns associated with the coronavirus (COVID-19) and efforts to limit the possible transmission, the town of Blowing Rock has made the decision to prohibit public access to all town-owned public buildings until at least Monday, March 23,” Fox’s statement said. “This date may be extended.”
Fox said that many town employees will work from home with a small staff at the offices.
Public bathrooms in Memorial Park and the outdoor bathrooms at the Blowing Rock Art and History Museum will be closed, but the town’s open outdoor facilities will remain open.
“The town of Blowing Rock will continue to provide all protection services, including fire and police, as normal,” Fox’s statement said.
In addition, sanitation pickup will be on a limited scheduled with commercial trash pickup taking place on Wednesdays only, instead of three days a week. Residential trash pickup will remain the same with Monday and Tuesday pickup. Brush pickup is also suspended until further notice.
For more information, visit townofblowingrocknc.gov.
Watauga County Manager Deron Geouque sent out a memo March 16 stating that all county departments and operations will remain on normal operating hours.
“Effective March 16, all nonessential in county, out-of-county and out-of-state travel and training is suspended until further notice,” Geouque’s March 16 memo stated.
Further, the Lois E. Harrill Senior Center and Western Watauga Community Center will cease congregate meals and senior center activities.
“At this time the Western Watauga Community Center branch library will remain open,” Geouque’s memo stated.
Further, all in-home aide visits related to the Watauga County Project on Aging are now provided on a case-by-case basis, with only specific services provided. Home Delivered Meals will continue, but will be monitored on a daily basis, Geouque’s memo explained.
Amy Shook, Watauga County Register of Deeds, recommended that people use the existing online services and limit in-person visits to the office. For people getting married in the next 60 days, it’s recommended to complete the marriage license application online at www.wataugacounty.org before going to the office. Additional information on the Watauga County Register of Deeds can be obtained by calling (828) 265-8052.
The town of Seven Devils has initiated emergency protocols for its citizens and staff.
"Effective immediately, until further notice, all staff will continue their normal working schedules," a notice on the Seven Devils' town website from March 16 states. "New town hall will be closed to the general public; however, the drive-thru will be open during normal operational hours for payments and questions for the town clerk. Old town hall will be closed, as well, to contain any exposure. All public meetings are canceled this week; future meetings are to be determined."
Boone Town Manager John Ward said on March 16 that Boone town offices will have limited access to the general public.
“We are limiting access so that we can do everything possible to ensure we have healthy staff to offer services to the public,” Ward said.
Ward encouraged residents with questions to reach out by phone and email. For information on the town of Boone, visit townofboone.net.
Beech Mountain Interim Town Manager Robert "Bob" Pudney said that while no restrictions have been implemented for town facilities, there are signs posted at entrances asking people not to enter if they're feeling sick.