Coronavirus (COVID-19) Updates for Jackson County


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Jackson County Commissioners signed into effect Monday, March 30 a modified second supplemental amendment to their Emergency Declaration. The update answers questions about quarantine, travel, and essential workers. Read the full declaration here. 

3-28-2020 Stay in Place to Stay Healthy - County and State Issue Stay At Home Orders

Click here to read the supplemental Jackson County order requiring traveler quarantine effective Saturday noon, 3/28/20 and here for the County's previous emergency declarations. Click here for the frequently asked questions document accompanying these County updates. 

Click here for the NC Stay state order which becomes effective Monday 3/30/20 at 5:00 p.m. Click here for the frequently asked questions document accompanying this Executive Order.

For additional local information, visit Jackson County, Macon County and Transylvania County



3-24-2020 Public Service Announcement from Jackson County Tourism Development Authority

The following message was sent by the Jackson County Tourism Development Authority via email on Monday, March 23 with urgent information:

The Jackson County Board of Commissioners on March 23 signed into effect a supplemental Emergency Declaration. This does affect our accommodations industry so please read carefully below, please forward to others who may not see this e-mail. A copy of the full declaration is available here. It goes into effect on 5 p.m. Wednesday, March 25. The full text of the declaration appears below:

            WHEREAS, based on public health guidance from the World Health Organization, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the United States Department of Health and Human Services and the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services, Jackson County declared a Local State of Emergency on March 16, 2020 in an effort to promote social distancing to slow the spread of COVID-19.
            WHEREAS, in just over the past week, the State of North Carolina, through the Governor, Roy Cooper, has issued Executive Order No. 116 titled “Declaration of a State of Emergency to Coordinate Response and Proactive Actions to Prevent the Spread of COVID-19; Executive Order No. 117 prohibiting mass gatherings and directing the statewide closure of K-12 public schools to limit the spread of COVID-19;  Executive Order No. 118 “Limiting Operations of Restaurants and Bars and Broadening Unemployment Insurance Benefits in Response to COVID-19”; Executive Order No. 119 waiving restrictions on child care and elder care and providing DMV flexibilities; Executive Order No. 120 temporary closure of certain businesses in which members of the public may be in close contact with each other and extension of statewide closure of K-12 public schools in Response to COVID-19”.
            WHEREAS, the emergency response orders in place in the State of North Carolina currently prohibits mass gatherings that bring together more than fifty (50) persons in a single room or single space at a time, such as an auditorium, stadium, arena, large conference room, meeting hall, theater or any other confined indoor or outdoor space.  The prohibition does not extend to other defined spaces and establishments.
            WHEREAS, the latest Executive Order is a critical step in minimizing close contact between members of the community.  Close contact for COVID-19 is currently defined as contact within six feet for a duration of at least ten minutes.  Social Distancing is a specific strategy, proven by data to severely lessen the impact of high consequence pathogens by minimizing the opportunity for close contact encounters. 
            WHEREAS, per federal guidelines and guidance from the California Department of Public Health, as well as state governments, including Wisconsin and Virginia, gatherings of ten people or more are prohibited. 
            WHEREAS, given its specific knowledge of Jackson County and to further safeguard its residents and community via Social Distancing, Jackson County Public Health has determined that an imminent hazard exists and has issued guidance recommending the temporary closure of businesses related to non-essential travel of non-resident individuals in Jackson County to slow the spread of COVID-19.
            NOW THEREFORE, pursuant to the authority vested in me as the Chairman of the Board of Commissioners of Jackson County under Article 1A of Chapter 166A of the North Carolina General Statutes and the Emergency Management Ordinance for the County of Jackson I hereby declare:

  1. Effective Wednesday, March 25, 2020, no gatherings of ten persons or more shall take place in Jackson County, including its incorporated municipalities during the term of this Declaration of Local State of Emergency.  For the avoidance of doubt and consistent with Executive Orders 117 118, and 120, grocery stores, pharmacies, convenience stores, gas stations and food distribution sites, to the extent they sell or distribute prepared food, are exempt from the provisions of this Declaration.  Also, a gathering of persons does not “include normal operations at airports, bus and train stations, medical facilities, shopping malls and centers.  It also does not include office environments, factories and child care centers.”  [Libraries are omitted from this listing of exemptions to the Executive Orders because Jackson County Libraries ae currently closed].  Further, food banks and other food distribution sites, farmer’s markets, retail and hardware operations and rental centers in which the public are not generally in close contact with other patrons are exempt from this Declaration.


  1. Pursuant to Executive Order 120, effective Wednesday, March 25, 2020 at 5:00 p.m., all bingo parlors, bowling alleys, ice skating rinks, indoor exercise facilities (e.g. gyms, yoga studios, and martial arts facilities), health clubs, indoor pools, live performance venues, movie theaters, roller skating rinks, spas, sweepstakes lounges, video game arcades personal care and grooming businesses, including but not limited to the following:  barber shops, beauty salons, hair salons, manicure/pedicure providers, massage parlors, nail salons, tattoo parlors shall close for business.


  1. Effective Wednesday, March 25, 2020 at 5:00 p.m., all Lodging Facilities for example, hotels, motels, resorts, inns, guest houses, bed and breakfasts, campgrounds, RV Parks, vacation cabins, home rentals and any and all rentals or leases by Air-BNB, Homeaway, VRBO and other rental programs or places where leases or use of any are for less than one month in duration, shall be closed in Jackson County, including in its incorporated municipality, EXCEPT exemptions as hereinafter set forth.


  1. Work-Related Exemptions:  This closure does not apply if a lease or extended overnight accommodation is due to work here in Jackson County for business, medical, construction, emergency services or other related services.  In this situation, the employee staying at the lodging facility should have their employer provide their work related identification badge or a letter from the employer stating the purpose of the work to be performed in Jackson County and the expected duration of the stay.
  2. Homeless Shelter:  This closure does not apply to lodging facilities housing authorized individuals through HERE in Jackson County.
  3. Emergency Facility:  This closure does not apply to a lodging facility if used as an emergency facility to assist with the COVID-19 Response.

            By and with the consent of the mayors of the municipalities within Jackson County, this Declaration of Local State of Emergency applies within the municipal limits of the Town of Sylva, the Town of Dillsboro, the Town of Webster and the Village of Forest Hills.
            This Declaration is in addition to the Executive Orders referenced above and should any provision hereof be declared invalid or unconstitutional by any court of any competent jurisdiction, such declaration shall not affect the validity of this Declaration that as a whole or any part thereof which is not specifically declared to be invalid or unconstitutional.
            We direct that copies of this Declaration be disseminated to the mass communications media for publication and broadcast and that a copy of this Declaration be posted at the Jackson County Justice and Administration Building and other public buildings as appropriate.
            Any person who violates any provision of the Declaration shall be guilty of a Class 2 misdemeanor in accordance with N.C.G.S. Sections 166A-19.31 and 14-288.20A
            All of the terms and conditions of that said Local State of Emergency declared on March 16, 2020 remain in force and effect.
            This Declaration of Local State of Emergency for Jackson County shall begin upon its adoption and shall remain in effect until rescinded.

 Adopted March 23, 2020

We are not able to answer any questions about the declaration, as those should be directed to the acting Public Information Officer for Jackson County, Quintin Ellison, at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

The JCTDA is committed to the recovery of our hospitality industry in Jackson County and to the safety and wellbeing of our community. Our thoughts are with those affected by the COVID-19 impacts locally. We are working around the clock to provide our businesses with every resource possible and are already working toward recovery planning when that time comes. 


3-17-2020 Public Service Announcement
Corona Virus Update - Local Resources

Please be advised of the following announcements and resources related to the Coronavirus COVID-19. We will continue to provide Cashiers Area and Jackson County updates in support of our members and our mountain communities.


Visit Jackson County Department of Public Health's comprehensive website by clicking here You will find basic information on COVID-19, signs & symptoms, testing & treatment, travel guidance, and what you can do to slow or stop the spread of COVID-19 in Jackson County. The website also has a link to “Get the Facts: FAQ About COVID-19 in Jackson County.” This is a list of frequently asked questions that is updated as frequently as possible. These FAQs will also be available on the Department's Facebook page.

Visit for details on the healthcare system's response to the virus outbreak. An HCA Hotline at 833-582-1974 is also available for medical support.

Jackson County Public School System information is available at Locally, our administrators and faculty are working tirelessly to ensure students have access to meals, materials and class instruction during their school closures.

Jackson County Tourism Development Authority has created to support our local economy via take-out and gift card opportunities! If your Chamber Member business would like to promote a listing on the website click the "get listed" menu item on the website homepage. Please share this online resource with others and continue to support our local economy and hospitality industries during this time.

NC Governor Roy Cooper has ordered restaurants and bars across the state to close as of Tuesday afternoon to help slow the spread of the virus. Takeout and delivery orders will continue.

Thank you for being patient as details and precautions develop related to the Coronavirus and for supporting all our Chamber Member restauranteurs who are offering special services at this time.

Please note that the Chamber's Nosh Mob breakfast at Randevu previously-scheduled for this Thursday has been revised to a virtual event. In lieu of dining-in, offer your support by calling the restaurant at 828-743-0190 to purchase a gift card to be used at any time.

Update 3/13/2020 Please review and share this official message issued by the Jackson County Tourism Development Authority regarding Coronavirus (COVID-19) and how it relates to North Carolina and Jackson County.

We will continue to provide Jackson County updates as available.