UPDATE: The Boone Town Council will hold an emergency meeting on Saturday at 11 a.m. The meeting will be held electronically.
During the meeting, town officials will discuss clarification or modifications of the town’s state of emergency.
UPDATED 6:45 p.m. – A Watauga County Superior Court judge has granted a temporary restraining order against part of the town of Boone, N.C.’s amended state of emergency.
According to court documents, the request was filed by Anne-Marie Yates of Mountain Resort Management, LLC, Hospitality Group of Hickory, Inc. and Smokey Mountain Hospitality, LLC.
The plaintiffs are represented by attorney Nathan Miller.
According to court documents, Judge R. Gregory Horne ruled that “The inability of the Plaintiffs to run its business has the potential for immediate harm to their reputation be being unable to honor previously made reservations.”
The judge granted the order, prohibiting the town of Boone “from enforcing Section 2(4)(i) of Town of Boone Amended State of Emergency Declaration May 21, 2020. This order includes the Plaintiffs, their guests and invitees.”
A hearing about the order is set for June 1.
BOONE, N.C. (WJHL) – An amended state of emergency, passed by the town council of Boone, N.C., enacts new restrictions aimed at visitors to the town.
The state of emergency was put in place to try to help curb the spread of COVID-19 in the municipality.
The amended order, passed Thursday, lays new restrictions on anyone who has spent the night outside the county, with the exception of commuters who regularly work in Watauga County.
The state of emergency reads:
Except for commuters who regularly work in Watauga County, all persons (residents and non-residents) arriving in the Town of Boone who previously overnighted outside Watauga County, whether such persons are visiting the Town for the day or staying overnight, are not permitted to enter any establishment open to the public other than medical offices and medical facilities unless and until such time as they have stayed in Watauga County for an uninterrupted overnight stay of at least 14 days; provided, however, that this subsection does not apply to a person who is confirmed pursuant to current testing guidelines issued by the CDC or NCDHHS not to be infected with COVID-19;…Town of Boone Amended State of Emergency Declaration; May 21, 2020
The state of emergency also states that anyone breaking the provisions laid out could be charged with a class 2 misdemeanor.
The Boone Area Chamber of Commerce released a statement opposing the new measures, stating:
The language outlining a proposed indefinite lengthening of a mandatory 14-day quarantine for all visitors coming to the area, as well residents traveling from and back to the area, represents an unrealistic enforcement issue and poses negative impacts on our tourism economy, small business community, incoming college students, and a large percentage of our workforce, who may work in Boone, but live in counties other than Watauga.Boone Area Chamber of Commerce
As of the evening of May 22, the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services reported 12 cases in Watauga County. The NCDHHS information does not include how many of those cases are active.
You can read the full state of emergency, as well as the chamber of commerce’s full statement, below.
Continuing coverage of the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic.