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COVID-19 Travel Information Stay Safe, Stay Home & We Can't Wait to Welcome you Back. Click here.

COVID-19 Information

COVID-19 Information

We are closely monitoring the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic as it relates to North Carolina and Jackson County. Our top priority is the safety, health, and wellbeing of our community, its residents, and visitors. This is a rapidly evolving situation that changes by the hour and there is a lot of uncertainty. We are providing you resources below for your business and employees; Please forward to any colleagues in the industry that you feel would benefit from this information.

State Updates:

March 27: Executive Order 121 issues a statewide Stay at Home Order beginning Monday, March 30, 2020 at 5 p.m. until April 29, 2020, directing people to stay at home except to visit essential businesses, to exercise outdoors or to help a family member. Specifically, the order bans gatherings of more than 10 people and directs everyone to physically stay at least six feet apart from others. FAQ Link.

According to N.C. Gov. Roy Cooper’s statement on March 27, the more restrictive portion of a local order will take precedent over any state order.

Jackson County-Specific Updates:

  • Beginning at noon on March 28 anyone coming from out of state or country entering Jackson County will be required to quarantine for 14 days. Link to Declaration.
  • A second Declaration was issued and effective 8 a.m. on March 30 that clarified quarantine, social distancing and workers entering the state. Link to Declaration. Link to FAQ.
  • We created www.LoveJacksonNC.com focused on supporting the local economy and its restaurants and businesses at this time.
  • We activated Visitor Facing messaging on our website on March 15, 2020.
  • We closed our Visitor Centers for a period of at least two weeks for the health and safety of their staff.
  • Western Carolina University will be extending its official spring break by an additional week, until Monday, March 23. Classes will then be transitioned from face-to-face to alternative methods beginning March 23 and will continue until further notice. Link.
    • The Chancellor Installation and weeklong events have been postponed until fall.
  • Southwestern Community College will extend its official spring break by a week and then move to online classes March 23. Link.
  • Jackson County Public Schools are closed for two weeks following a mandate from the Governor.
  • We will continue to work with the Jackson County Department of Public Health (JCDPH), Jackson County Emergency Management, and others to continue to keep you updated on developments.
  • Many major attractions including the Great Smoky Mountain Railroads and Biltmore® have altered their operations. Check before visiting.
  • As this situation evolves, check with event organizers directly on events that may be impacted or postponed.
  • We’ve halted all advertising to visitors until further notice and are now focusing on keeping residents informed.
  • We’ve changed all social media messaging from “Visit Jackson County” to “Stay Safe, Stay Home and We Can’t Wait to Welcome You Back.”
  • Many businesses are closed at this time. Please call ahead to confirm business hours.
  • Many events have been canceled or postponed. Please contact event organizers for more information.

Our team is in regular contact with the State Tourism Office (VisitNC) and on weekly calls with Destinations International and the U.S. Travel Association to stay informed on the latest updates as it relates to travel.

We will place any major updates and resources on our COVID-19 Industry Partner page here.

Small Business Resources

  • We will continue to monitor and deliver resources for our merchants. For the most up-to-date information, visit our Business Resources Page.

Links with factual updates:

Best practices:
-Many of our large accommodations receive guidance from corporate as to the proper sanitization and disinfecting protocol during times like this. For others, follow CDC guidance located here. Ensure you clean items including (but not limited to): door handles, telephones, toilets, light switches, remote controls, blowdryers, HVAC controls, faucet handles, and other surfaces frequently. Link to ECOLab’s full guidance for Hospitality.

Posters:
There are a number of informational posters for Coronavirus on the CDC’s website here. Two that you may want to display for your employees can be downloaded below.

Germs: Wash hands posterStop the Spread of Germs poster

General guidance:

  • Stay at home unless to purchase necessary provisions
  • The best way to prevent illness is to avoid being exposed to this virus. As a reminder, the Department of Health always recommends everyday preventive actions to help impede the spread of respiratory diseases, including:
  • Avoiding close contact with people who are sick
  • Staying home when you are sick and avoiding contact with persons in poor health
  • Avoiding touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands
  • Covering your cough or sneezing with a tissue, then disposing of the issue
  • Washing your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom, before eating, after blowing your nose, coughing or sneezing
  • If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol. Always wash your hands with soap and water if hands are visibly dirty.
  • Cleaning and disinfecting frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.

Additional state guidance and federal guidance, regulations regarding travel, and policies are changing on a daily basis. To view the latest protocols, please visit:

  • The most up-to-date information for North Carolina is located at the NCDHHS website here.
  • The most up-to-date information on a federal level is available on the CDC’s website here.

Like every team, the JCTDA is keeping a close eye on COVID-19 and will be ready to respond accordingly and responsibly. Thank you for your time and your concern for the safety, health and wellbeing of our community.

Sincerely,

Nick Breedlove, CDME, CHIA, TMP
Jackson County TDA Executive Director

Disclaimer: The information contained herein is provided for informational purposes only and should not be construed as expert professional advice on any subject matter. You should not act or refrain from acting on the basis of any content included in this site without seeking legal or other professional advice from the appropriate resource(s).

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