ASHEVILLE, NC (FOX Carolina) - As Buncombe County’s cumulative COVID-19 cases count rose to 8,220 and deaths to 143 on Wednesday, Buncombe County officials said there is evidence of "substantial and increased community transmission."
Officials said Buncombe County, the City of Asheville, and Town of Montreat will move to add more stringent measures in an effort to slow the spread of COVID-19.
The new local order signed on Wednesday reduces the capacity for indoor dining in restaurants from 50 percent to 30 percent and lowers the number for an indoor social gatherings with individuals from outside one household from 10 people to 2.
“Over the past month, we have been alarmed to watch the steep rise in not only the number of cases of COVID-19 in Buncombe County, but also the rapid rise in the number of people becoming so sick from COVID-19 that they require hospitalization,” said Board Chair Brownie Newman in a news release. “The two provisions adopted today are intended to reduce the situations where people gather in close proximity within crowded indoor environments and where wearing a protective mask or face covering is either impossible or often not used.”
The new restrictions will take effect on Saturday, Jan. 2, 2021 at 5 p.m.
The full text of the county's new preventative measures is below: