COVID Update - Friday March 27th - STAY AT HOME INFORMATION

Update March 27- 11:15am: 


LINK TO THE FQA for the Order

A new Stay At Home Order from Rutherford County, the Town of Bostic, the Town of Forest City, the Town of Lake Lure, the Town of Rutherfordton and the Town of Spindale directs residents to stay at home effective at 6:00 am on Saturday, March 28, 2020. This Order will be in place for three weeks until April 17, 2020 at 6:00 am. The Order limits activity, travel and business functions to only the most basic and essential needs. To the extent individuals are using shared or outdoor spaces, they must at all times maintain social distancing of at least six feet from any other person when they are outside their residence.

This Order was issued in response to the significant and increasing number of suspected cases of community transmission and likely further significant increases in transmission. The order defines essential activities as necessary for the health and safety for individuals and their families. To read the full Stay At Home Order please go to: 

 Any violation of any provision of this Order constitutes an imminent threat to public health and will be enforced by law enforcement as a Class 2 misdemeanor in accordance with N.C. Gen. Stat. §14-288.20A.  The Chairman of the Rutherford County Board of Commissioners and the Mayors of each town will continue to assess the quickly evolving situation and may modify or extend this Order, or issue additional Orders, related to COVID-19. 

 All individuals traveling to Rutherford County from areas experiencing community transmission of COVID-19 (especially including the states of California, New York and Washington) must self-quarantine at their home or place of residence for a period of fourteen (14) days commencing immediately upon their arrival in Rutherford County before entering the community.

Areas defined in the Stay at Home Order are clarified below:

 Essential Businesses:  businesses permitted to remain operational and open to the public during the period of this Proclamation.  

1. Stores that sell groceries or medicine
2. Food cultivation
3. Manufacturing, distribution and supply chain for critical products and industries
4. Organizations that provide charitable and social services
5. Healthcare and public health operations
6. Media
7. Gas stations and businesses needed for transportation
8. Financial and insurance institutions
9. Hardware and supply stores
10. Critical trades
11. Mail, post, shipping, delivery and pick-up services
12. Educational institutions
13. Laundry services
14. Restaurants for consumption off-premises
15. Transportation
16. Home-based care and services
17. Residential facilities and shelters
18. Professional services
19. Childcare facilities
20. Hotels and motels
21. Funeral services
22. Solid Waste
23. Outdoor Services
24. Government Services

 Essential Activities:  activities for which individuals may leave their home or place of residence.  

 1. For health and safety
2. For necessary supplies and services
3. For outdoor activity
4. To take care of others
5. For certain types of work

 Essential Travel:

 1. Any travel necessary or related to the provision of or access to Essential Activities, Essential Government Services, Essential Businesses, or Minimum Basic Operations.
2. Travel to care for elderly, minors, dependents, persons with disabilities, or other vulnerable persons.
3. Travel to or from educational institutions for purposes of receiving materials for distance learning, for receiving meals, and any other related services.
4. Travel to return to home or place of residence from outside the jurisdiction.
5. Travel required by law enforcement or court order, including to transport children pursuant to a custody agreement.
6. Travel required for non-residents to return to their place of residence outside the jurisdiction of Rutherford County.  


Social Distancing Requirements shall include:


1. Maintaining a distance of no less than six feet (6’) between any and all individuals.
2. Washing hands with soap and water at least twenty (20) seconds as frequently as possible OR using hand sanitizer.
3. Covering all coughs and sneezes into the sleeve or elbow, not the hands.
4. Regularly cleaning all high-touch surfaces.
5. Not shaking hands.


 Nonessential Gathering:  

 Any event or convening that brings together ten (10) or more people in a single room or single space at the same time, whether indoors or outdoors.  A “single space” shall include facilities such as an auditorium, stadium, arena, conference room, meeting hall, theater or any other confined space whether indoor or outdoor.  Businesses excluded from gatherings of ten (10) or more people include Essential Businesses and Essential Government Services.

 If you have any further questions please see the Frequently Asked Questions below or you may contact the Public Information Officer at  To receive daily local COVID alerts, please text your zip code to 888777.  ### 






On Friday, March 27, 2020, Rutherford County, Bostic, Forest City, Lake Lure, Rutherfordton and Spindale issued an Order requiring all persons currently within the jurisdiction of Rutherford County and the listed towns to stay at home or at their place of residents except as allowed by the Proclamation to prevent the further spread of COVID-19. The order prohibits things like visiting the homes of friends and holding gatherings of any size and closes all nonessential establishments, including most retail, recreation and entertainment businesses. It does NOT prohibit essential activities like going to the grocery store, receiving medical care, or taking your pet for a walk. For more information on what this order means for you, please see below.  This order goes into effect at 6:00 am on Saturday, March 28, 2020 and will be valid through April 17, 2020, at 6:00 a.m.


When does the order take effect?

 The order will take effect Saturday, March 28th at 6 am EST. 


 Where does the Stay at Home order apply?

 The order includes all of the unincorporated areas of Rutherford County, North Carolina, and all areas within the municipal limits of Bostic, Forest City, Lake Lure, Rutherfordton and Spindale. Unless you work for an essential business or are doing an essential activity, you should stay home.

 Is this mandatory or just guidance?

 This order is mandatory. To help prevent the further spread of COVID-19 in our community and protect our friends, neighbors, and vulnerable populations, please stay home.

 How will this order be enforced?

 Staying home is critical to reducing the spread of COVID-19 in your community.  Local law enforcement will enforce this order.  Adhering to the order will save lives and it is the responsibility of every citizen to do their part.

 I work in an essential service. How will the police know I’m allowed to be outside my house?

Law enforcement officials will not stop residents who are on their way to or from work or who are out for necessities like going to the pharmacy or getting groceries, or just taking a walk. Citizens should abstain from all nonessential activities. Adhering to the order will save lives and it is the responsibility of every person in Rutherford County to do their part.

 Will grocery stores be open?

 Yes, essential services will still be operational including, but not limited to:

  Stores that sell groceries or medicine


 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. 

 What if my home is not a safe environment? 
If it is not safe for you to remain home, you are able and urged to find another safe place to stay during this order.  Please reach out so we can help. You may call 828-286-2911 or contact your local law enforcement.

 What about homeless people who can’t stay at home?
County Commissioners wants to protect the health and safety of all citizens, regardless of where they live.  County agencies are partnering with community organizations to provide funding and resources to ensure our homeless population has safe shelter. 

 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?
Large gatherings, such as church services, will be cancelled to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

 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 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

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.


There are also some great reading and learning websites that are available for your use for free.


Storyline Online                        
We Give Books                         
International Children’s            
Digital Library
Switcheroo Zoo                        
National Geo. For Kids             
Fun Brain                                  
Into the Book                            
Highlights Kids                         


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. 



NC 211 is an information and referral service that families and individuals can call to obtain free and confidential information on health and human services resources within their community. NC 2-1-1 operates 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year and resources are available in most languages. 


North Carolinians can text COVIDNC to 898211 to receive general information and updates about COVID-19. Sign up now to get regular alerts on the rapidly evolving situation and North Carolina’s response.


NC 2-1-1 can refer callers to the organizations in their local community best equipped to address their specific health and human services needs including food, shelter, energy assistance, housing, parenting resources, health care, employment, substance abuse treatment, as well as specific resources for older adults and for persons with disabilities, and much more. Simply dial 2-1-1 or TTY 888-892-1162 for assistance.


NC 2-1-1 cannot provide direct medical services, and COVID-19 can only be diagnosed by a health care professional. If you suspect you or someone you care for may have symptoms or have been exposed to the virus, you should contact your health care provider. If you do not have a provider, you can call the Foothills Health Dept. at 828-289-1185  for guidance. 


People should only call 9-1-1 if they are experiencing an emergency.  We encourage you to follow these recommendations but your 911 First Responders are always here to help in the event you have any true Emergency.


For the most up-to-date information on COVID-19 in North Carolina, go to



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.

 Update: March 16th -4:30pm 

Mayor Dancy has declared a local state of emergency to help respond to the COVID-19 virus. At this time we are not changing any protocols from the earlier posts but the emergency orders will assist in helping state and federal resources should they be needed. We will continue to update as this evolves. We will be sure to pass along information. Our main goal is to keep everyone as safe as possible during this time to contain the spread. We highly encourage you to limit social interactions as much as possible at this time. #1Town1Team

Link to the State of Emergency Declaration 

Original Post March 16th 11:00am 
Our mission is to provide high-quality services to this community and to do that we must fully rely on our team to do so, given the current protocols released by the CDC and the Governor's office the Town is implementing the following steps. These steps are meant to ensure that operations of the Town can continue while protecting you and our team from infection.
Town buildings are on lockdown for the week. If you need Town services please call 828-287-3520.
Norris Public Library is closed until at least Wednesday ( we will keep you updated on this as we deep clean the building and monitor needs)
Town parks are open but to encourage social distancing, the bathrooms, tennis courts and basketball courts are closed.
Town meetings for the next 2 weeks are postponed. The Town Budget meeting scheduled for this week will be moved to a date in April.
If you see Town staff out in public please practice social distancing and allow them to work. If you have concerns please call 828-287-3520.
Trash & Recycling pickups are on normal schedule.
What to do if you are experiencing symptoms
First and foremost - if you are having a medical emergency, you should call 911. If possible, notify the dispatch agent that your emergency involves symptoms possibly related to COVID-19. This will allow emergency service providers to properly prepare for your visit and take the necessary precautions to keep others from being infected or exposed.
We are working hard to keep operations moving forward and working to keep everyone safe, please take the recommendations of the CDC and the governor's office seriously and limit your exposure. Be sure to wash and sanitize. We are all in this together and we thank you all for your understanding and cooperation. #1Town1Team