Coronavirus: What you need to know in Asheville, WNC May 15 – Citizen Times

15May 2020

ASHEVILLE – As of 11 a.m. May 15, North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services tallied 17,129 laboratory-confirmed cases of COVID-19 across the state. That’s an increase of 622 cases, or 3.8%, from the May 14 numbers.

NCDHHS counted 641 deaths statewide, an increase of 26, or 4.2%, from the May 14 report.

Buncombe County announced on its coronavirus case dashboard that the county had 116 confirmed cases of coronavirus as of about noon May 14. Four people had died in Buncombe from COVID-19. 

Meanwhile, according to state counts, Henderson County had 273 cases and 36 deaths.

Avery County remained the only county in the state without a confirmed case.

COVID-19 cases in other Western North Carolina counties, according to state counts:

  • Cherokee: 17 cases, 1 death.
  • Clay: 5 cases, 0 deaths.
  • Graham: 2 cases, 0 deaths.
  • Haywood: 21 cases, 0 deaths.
  • Jackson: 22 cases, 1 death.
  • Macon: 3 cases, 1 death.
  • Madison: 1 case, 0 deaths.
  • McDowell: 29 cases, 1 death.
  • Mitchell: 5 cases, 0 deaths.
  • Polk: 31 cases, 3 deaths.
  • Swain: 6 cases, 0 deaths.
  • Transylvania: 7 cases, 0 deaths.
  • Watauga: 9 cases, 0 deaths.
  • Yancey: 8 cases, 0 deaths.

The Citizen Times is providing this story for free to readers because of the need for information about the coronavirus. We encourage you to further support local journalism by subscribing.

Asheville nursing home employee tests positive for COVID-19

StoneCreek Health and Rehabilitation, a 120-bed nursing facility in South Asheville, confirmed a kitchen worker has tested positive for COVID-19.

The facility has tested five of its employees in the kitchen, according to StoneCreek’s Executive Director, all of whom have tested negative. 

Read more from Elizabeth Anne Brown about the facility below. 

More:Coronavirus: Asheville nursing home kitchen worker positive for COVID-19

Free COVID-19 testing returns

Free viral testing for COVID-19 will return to Buncombe County on May 14, from 1-4 p.m. only. 

Buncombe County residents who are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 will be eligible for no-cost testing, regardless of their insurance status.

Read more about who qualifies and how to access testing below. 

More:Coronavirus: Free county-sponsored testing returns May 12 and 14

Asheville artists find community, financial boon in art exchange 

It’s an art collector’s dream — dozens of Asheville area artists have pledged to sell pieces for less than $200 each, and buy artwork from their contemporaries after selling a thousand dollars’ worth of their own. 

Jacqui Fehl, a mixed media artist with an art studio in the RAD, said she’s sold pieces most every day using social media as a gallery. 

“There’s never been a better time to be an art collector,” said Fehl, who has bought four or five works herself and who estimated that she has sold dozens of her own.

More:Among Asheville artists, a commitment to support one another during coronavirus pandemic

West Asheville hotel hosts homeless shelter with more freedom 

Some of Asheville’s most vulnerable have moved from Harrah’s Cherokee Center Asheville to individual rooms in a West Asheville hotel. 

The city of Asheville will foot 25% of the bill for certain members of the homeless community to live at the Red Roof Inn during the pandemic, while FEMA will pick up the rest. Homeward Bound and a team of other non-profits will provide case management and medical care. 

While participants couldn’t leave and re-enter at Harrah’s Center, the people sheltering at Red Roof Inn will be able to engage in “essential travel” and mingle in common areas, as long as social distancing is observed.

More:Coronavirus: West Asheville hotel hosts flexible quarantine shelter for homeless

Asheville City parks partially reopen

Parks and Recreation staff began the process of reopening City of Asheville Parks on May 8 after weeks of closures due to COVID-19. 

Parks being reopened include dog parks, boat accesses, the fishing pond located at Azalea Park, the disc golf course at Richmond Hill Park and all parking lots associated with parks. 

More:Coronavirus: Asheville City parks partially reopen

11th District runoff underway

Voting in a delayed Republican congressional runoff is now starting, as absentee ballots were being mailed out beginning May 8.

Lynda Bennett of Haywood County and Madison Cawthorn of Henderson County are facing off June 23 in the 11th District second primary that was pushed back because of the pandemic. They were the first- and second-place finishers in a crowded 11-way GOP March 3 primary.

The coronavirus has made for strange and limited campaigning that has happened mostly via social media.

More:Voting to start in Asheville, WNC congressional runoff after coronavirus delay

Making way for restaurants?

Hendersonville’s Main Street could be closed to traffic on weekends so restaurants and downtown business would be able to expand their spaces outdoors for social distancing.

Times-News reporter Andrew Mundhenk reports that Hendersonville City Council was briefed Friday on the “Open Main Street/Love Hendo” plan drafted by the Downtown Hendersonville program, which would expand the footprint businesses would have to practice proper social distancing measures.

Closing Main Street would allow for restaurants to expand outside dining, and retail businesses would be able to set up spaces outdoors as well during Friday evening, Saturday and Sunday.

More:Hendersonville may close Main Street on weekends to expand retail, dining space

Cartoon illustrates doctor reaching through a monitor to listen to a dude's heart.


Our Score
Click to rate this post!
[Total: 0 Average: 0]

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Upgrade Your Listing

Add images, video, and more details to your listing! More information means more clicks. More clicks means more quotes!

Free listing includes: business name, address, phone, website, google map

Upgraded listing includes: business name, address, phone, website, EMAIL ADDRESS, COMPANY LOGO, VIDEO, IMAGE SLIDE SHOW, FEATURED LISTING PLACEMENT