March 18 Update

The Mitchell County Board of Commissioners met for a special session Monday, March 16, to discuss and proclaim a state of emergency due to the coronavirus pandemic. To read the proclamation click here

Clarification for executive order on restaurants and bars: The Governor’s Executive Order suspending dine-in service and allowing for take out only in restaurants, has created some confusion. Patrons and customers can still go into restaurants to pick up their orders and are only prohibited from dining in. Continue to call in your regular lunch and dinner orders to our local restaurants and feel free to go inside to pay and pick up if you are not sick. Many local restaurants are offering curbside service to deliver your orders to the car if you are concerned about being in public.

Mitchell County Transportation: We are are open but limiting our transportation to ONLY medically necessary and are telling passengers needing groceries to be prepared to purchase for at least two weeks. IF you have a fever, symptoms of a respiratory infection ( cough, shortness of breath, sore throat) or contact with someone suspected/or having COVID-19 or been to an area that has confirmed COVID-19 YOU CANNOT RIDE. Please call the Mitchell Co. Health Dept. at 688-2371. IF YOU NEED ASSISTANCE WITH FOOD OR PRESCRIPTIONS PLEASE CALL US AND WE WILL ARRANGE TO GET YOU WHAT YOU NEED!!! IF you absolutely need to go to a medical appointment and the doctor is still seeing patients WE WILL TAKE YOU as long as you have none of the symptoms above. CALL- 688-4715

Governor’s Office: On Tuesday, March 17th, NC Governor Cooper issued an executive order directong all bars and restaurants to close their in-dining service beginning at 5 pm on Tuesday March 17th. Take out and delivery orders will continue.

Governor Roy Cooper issued an executive order on changes to unemployment benefits. To read the order and the new changes click here.

Mitchell County Schools: Assignments for students will be made available March 23. Food Distribution is available for students beginning Wednesday March 18th from 11 am-1 pm at the following locations:

 Deyton Elementary School, Greenlee Primary School, Mitchell High School, Gouge Elementary School, Buladean Community Center, Little Rock Creek Church, Bradshaw Fire Department, Tipton Hill Foundation, Bakersville Apartments, White Oak Baptist Church, Walnut Avenue Apartments, Wagon Master #1, Deer Park Apartments, Altapass Baptist Church, Beaver Creek Baptist Church, Liberty Hill Baptist Church.

Please follow the procedures for pick-up at each of these sites to minimize contact and the spread of germs. If you have any questions concerning allergies or ingredients, please contact Heather Calhoun at 766-2240. If you have any other questions about our feeding program, please call 766-2220. Thank you for your patience during this time and we will continue to communicate with you frequently.

Small Business Administration: The Small Business Administration provides information for businesses including the Economic Injury Disaster Relief Loan Program, Click here

Mitchell Senior Center: We continue to work closely with county administration, the health department and the Area Agency on Aging to determine how we can best serve our clients. Starting on Monday we will prepare and send out Meals on Wheels to the client’s door only. We will prepare meals for drive thru clients at our side door and will be calling to see if we need to get food to those who normally ride transportation. All activities will be suspended until further notice. If you are a senior and have questions please feel free to call the center at 828-688-3019.

Toe River Health Department: Do you have questions about coronavirus and you don’t know who to ask? Do you wonder what the testing is like? Do you have questions about what you can do to keep your family safe? You can send your questions to and we’ll be happy to answer them on Facebook

Town of Spruce Pine: The Town of Spruce Pine has cancelled the next council meeting scheduled for March 23, 2020. Also, we have posted on Social Media requesting that our customer use the Drive-In window, Drop box or pay on line at The online payment option is highlighted in red on the page.

AMY Regional Library: Our libraries will be on regular operating schedules at this time. Effective March 16, AMY Regional Library is suspending all library programs until further notice, in the interest of protecting vulnerable community members and preventing the spread of COVID-19. Currently, there are no presumptive or confirmed cases in our counties. We will continue to monitor the situation and seek advice from public health officials to determine when programming and events can resume or if changes must be made to hours of operation. 

Our meeting rooms are no longer available for additional bookings, and Branch Managers and Associate Librarians are working to cancel existing reservations. Wifi is available for patrons who can park outside the library and sign on without a password.

Mitchell County Sheriff’s Office: Due to current situation with COVID-19 Virus, in a effort to protect my staff and the general public with ‘Social Distancing’.

Effective March 18, 2020 all concealed carry renewal or new permits, pistol purchase permits and fingerprinting for employment purposes will be done by appointment only.
Please call the Sheriff’s office between the hours of 8am-4pm. 688-3982

Mayland Small Business Center: As the country takes precautions to prevent the spread of Covid-19, the Mayland Small Business Center will shift operations to serve customers through phone and online consultations. With the college currently closed to the public, Mayland SBC will continue to work with clients via phone appointments, emails, and teleconferencing. Please call 828.766.1295 or email to schedule a phone consultation or virtual meeting.

Penland School of Craft – And now for the update we didn’t want to make: We are closing Penland School until further notice. Based on our governor’s latest orders and recommendations from our local health department, we concluded that we were no longer able to assure the health and safety of our students while delivering them the Penland experience they deserve.

We are now busy working with students and instructors to shut down the studios and get everyone home safely. It’s a strange time—our gallery is closed completely, the coffeehouse and The Pines are only serving food on a takeout basis, and our entire campus is winding down just at the time of year when the energy usually ramps up. It’s been painful and difficult, to say the least.

What is the status of summer workshops and the Annual Benefit Auction? The honest answer is that we do not know. We are proceeding with equal parts optimism and caution. It is our sincere hope that we’ll be back up and running within a couple months, but this crisis is evolving so quickly that we can’t say for sure. For now, please keep your plans to join us and know that we’ll give you as much notice as possible if anything has to change.

Let’s end with a few bright spots, shall we?

– Our students and instructors have been amazing. This is a tough situation for all of us, but they’ve shown us again and again the power and strength of this community and what we all do here.

– The support we have received from all of you out there in our wider circles has been so uplifting. Know that your reassuring words matter as we navigate the unknown. And, to those of you who have reached out with a donation in the past few days—thank you. Your support in this time of immense financial upheaval reaches right to the beating heart of our school.

– We have an incredible staff, and we intend to keep them. Our team is scrappy and resourceful, and you can bet we’ll be putting all our creative juices to the test over the coming weeks as we come up with ways to keep Penland, well, Penland. Expect to hear a lot more from us right here as we find ways to stay connected to this invaluable community!

If you’d like to help, please visit our donation page to make a gift:

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