Coronavirus Updates

Haywood County Stay Home Proclamation

This Proclamation was adopted in a meeting held March 26, 2020 and shall take effect on the 26th day of March 2020 at 5:00 pm and is valid through April 16, 2020

Haywood County COVID-19 Call Center
Open 8:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m. everyday

Rules for hotels and short-term lodging

  1. All lodging facilities, including campgrounds and direct-reservation facilities (such as Airbnb and VRBO) with rentals or leases for less than 15 days in duration shall be closed EXCEPT for work-related accommodations, facilities housing persons experiencing homelessness and any facility being used for isolation and quarantine purposes. Current residents at campgrounds are permitted to stay, but campgrounds should not allow new patrons to enter and establish themselves. Current residents at hotels, motels, and bed and breakfasts and other short-term rentals are permitted to stay, but these facilities should cancel any leisure travel reservations for the duration of this declaration. Any employees who work for a business or organization deemed essential can stay in any lodging.
  2. Visitors and property owners who are non-residents of Haywood County who are staying overnight as of the date of this action shall notify the Haywood County COVID-19 Hotline at 828-356-2019 to list with the County their most recent place of travel, length of stay and purpose for travel.

For the full proclamation visit:

We are closely monitoring the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic as it relates to North Carolina and Haywood County. Our top priority is the safety, health, and wellbeing of our community, its residents and visitors. This is a rapidly evolving situation that changes by the hour and there is a lot of uncertainty. We are providing you resources below for your business and employees.

Please note: The Haywood County Visitor Center is now closed to all walk in traffic. We have provided an outside brochure rack with the most requested items and visitors may call us if they have immediate questions.

  • TDA 1% Grant Deadline Extended
    In light of the COVID-19 crisis that we all are a part of, the TDA is extending the 1% grant application to April 24th.  The previous deadline was March 27th.  We wanted to give you this extra time to properly plan and apply for the 1% zip code funding.
  • The March TDA Board meeting scheduled for March 25th has been cancelled.

 Great Smoky Mountains National Park to Close. As a public health precaution, effective March 23, all park campgrounds, picnic areas, and restrooms will close for the safety of staff and visitors. Sugarlands, Oconaluftee, and Cades Cove Visitor Centers remain closed until further notice.

During the closure period, visitors can experience the park using digital tools including social media platforms and website where near real-time views can be seen via park webcams. Park rangers can still help answer questions via email or phone during business hours at (865) 436-1291, (828) 506-8620, or

Blue Ridge Parkway has closed the Southern 14 mile section, Milepost 455 to 469, until further notice.

The state’s position on travel is:

North Carolina is urging residents and visitors to be prepared at take precautions relating to the coronavirus (COVID-19). The state recommends that everyone monitor the NC Department of Health and Human Services’ special webpage on the situation. Events in various areas of the state are being cancelled or postponed as a best practice effort to reduce the spread of COVID-19. Visitors and travelers in and through the state should check with their lodging provider and event organizer before departing on a trip to North Carolina. Visitors to the state should take the same precautions that are recommended for traveling during the flu season. Those precautions are even more valuable this year. Visitors who are at “high risk” of severe illness from COVID-19 should avoid large groups of people as much as possible. If travelers need more information on North Carolina relating to COVID-19, they can go to

Residents and visitors can find information on the COVID-19 from the
NC Department of Health and Human Services

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

For those traveling, please follow these important recommendations:

  • Do not travel if you are sick.
  • Those at high risk should avoid large groups of people as much as possible. This includes gatherings such as concert venues, conventions, church services, sporting events, and crowded social events. People at high risk should also avoid cruise travel and non-essential air travel.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing; going to the bathroom; and before eating or preparing food.
  • If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol. Always wash hands with soap and water if hands are visibly dirty.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are ill.
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze and throw it away. If you don’t have a tissue, cough or sneeze into your upper sleeve, not your hands.
  • If you feel well, it is not necessary to wear a facemask. Facemasks are most effective when used by people who are already ill to prevent them from spreading viruses and other germs.

US Travel Association-Emergency Preparedness & Response

Links with factual updates:

Best practices:

Many of our large Accommodations receive guidance from corporate as to the proper sanitization and disinfecting protocol during times like this. For others, follow CDC guidance located here. Ensure you clean items including (but not limited to): door handles, telephones, toilets, light switches, remote controls, blowdryers, HVAC controls, faucet handles, and other surfaces frequently. Link to ECOLab’s full guidance for Hospitality [download PDF].

Restaurants may consider moving items touched by consumers to behind the counter. This keeps customers from touching multiple cups, coffee lids, straws, utensils, and other items and the potential spread of germs where multiple items are handled. By handing one to a customer it may help the spread of germs. Also offering a separate new cup for a refill may be feasible. A link to ServSafe’s Coronavirus information is located here.  More resources as they become available for restaurants by the National Restaurant’s Association are online at this link. ECOLab has industry-specific information online here. Link to Restaurants [download PDF]; link to Hospitality [download PDF]; link to Food & Beverage Industry [download PDF