March 25 Update

Pisgah Legal Services – Chamber Member Pisgah Legal Services’ volunteer attorney Michele Morris, will do a Facebook Live presentation on unemployment benefits tomorrow, Wed, 3/25 at 3pm. Tune into Pisgah Legal’s Facebook page to learn about this topic. Jodi has put content created by the NC Justice Center about employment & COVID on a page on our website (…/) and a volunteer is currently translating this into Spanish for them. They are hoping they will have the Spanish content back from her in time to put on the website before the FB Live session tomorrow.

They will be encouraging folks to apply for unemployment compensation as quickly as possible by phone or online (All applications during the COVID-19 crisis must be filed online or by phone: or 1-888-737-0259) and they have several volunteer attorneys ready and willing to provide advice by phone to anyone who faces difficulty applying for or securing unemployment compensation or needs advice on other employment matters. They will screen applicants that have this need and refer them to volunteers for advice/consultation. You can put a clients from your program area who need employment/unemployment advice on Tara’s list for referral. They can arrange for interpreters when needed to serve Spanish-speaking clients and they can use Language Line to assist clients who speak languages.

Please take a moment this evening to go to Pisgah Legal’s Facebook page and share the posting that Jodi made there about the FB Live presentation to your personal page and to groups you’re part of, if you’re comfortable with this. They want people to know that they are providing this resource and have the opportunity to tune in tomorrow. The FB Live presentation will be recorded and they will have that available, as well. 


Here is the contact information:
Katie Russell Miller, MSW, MPA
Director of Community Engagement/
Director of the Mt. Area Volunteer Lawyer Program
Pisgah Legal Services
62 Charlotte Street
Asheville, NC 28801
Direct: 828.210.3420
Fax: 828.252.8927

Mitchell County Schools-

Golden Leaf Foundation – Golden LEAF announces $15M for NC COVID-19 Rapid Recovery Loan Program 

The Golden LEAF Foundation announces $15 million in funding to launch a rapid recovery loan program in response to economic losses related to Coronavirus (COVID-19). Golden LEAF funding will support the NC COVID-19 Rapid Recovery Loan Program by enabling loans to be made to eligible businesses for up to $50,000 with zero interest and no payments for six months. If not repaid in six months, the loan will automatically convert to a term loan.

To read the press release visit…/golden-leaf-deploys-15m-for-n…/

For businesses to learn more about the loan program visit

Clarification on MountainBizWorks COVID 19 Response Loan

The terms of the loan are 6 months of no interest and no payments, followed by 48 months of principal and interest payments at 5.5% interest.

Small business support can make a big difference
Mountain BizWorks is joining with partners from across the state to launch an innovative recovery resource – the NC COVID-19 Rapid Recovery Lending Program. This program is being launched with an initial allocation of $15 million from the Golden LEAF Foundation (just announced this morning) to the NC Rural Center who is coordinating the multi-lender partnership.

Not a grant program
Mountain BizWorks issued NC COVID-19 loans are not designed to be a singular source of assistance for small businesses. Repayment is expected either from more permanent funding sources or from the future cash flow of the business.

Maximum loan size: $50,000
6 months of no interest and no payments, followed by 48 months of principal and interest payments at 5.5% interest
How to apply
Full program details and information on how to apply online are available through our website.

Learn More and Apply Online

Mitchell County Commissioners request suspension of short term rentals in county.

Update from Mitchell County Health Department (March 24)

Yancey 29 tests done 11 negative 18 pending
Mitchell 38 tests done 18 negative 20 pending
Avery 31 tests done 13 negative 18 pending

Now for the “news” of the day. Yes we still have all negative test results. There could be some positives in those pending tests. So don’t get complacent and start going out. Please continue staying home. Coronavirus will not come in your house unless you bring it there. Our three counties are surrounded by counties with positive cases. So please don’t travel if you don’t absolutely have to. If you can possibly reschedule appointments please do.

Now for the news that people aren’t going to like but it’s CDC guidance. The testing criteria has changed again. The testing criteria is now telling us that people with mild symptoms do NOT need testing and should be instructed to stay at home to recover. Here is the reasoning, and really it makes sense:
1. people infected with coronavirus coming out to be tested may spread illness to others in the community, including those at higher risk of complications, and healthcare workers
2. people who are not infected with coronavirus can become infected when coming for testing, especially at healthcare sites.
3. Personal Protective Equipment, which is in very low supply, will be able to be saved for outbreaks
4. there is a shortage of tests. It’s been decided by the CDC that testing is most important for people who are seriously ill, in the hospital, people in high-risk settings like nursing homes or long term care facilities, and healthcare workers and other first responders.

So if you are sick, no matter what you have, you need to self isolate so you don’t make others sick.
I know there are going to be alot of questions and comments about this. Remember I’m posting on three different FB pages so give me time to be able to respond. Diane

NC State Parks – WED. MAR 25, 11:50 a.m.: UPDATED STATE PARK CLOSURES

Due to counties in State of Emergency and continued crowding at several parks that does not adhere to social distancing guidelines, the following state parks will be CLOSED effectively immediately and until further notice:

Mount Mitchell State Park
Gorges State Park

The following parks remain closed until further notice:

Morrow Mountain State Park
Pilot Mountain State Park
Lake James State Park
South Mountains State Park
Stone Mountain State Park
Chimney Rock at Chimney Rock State Park
Crowders Mountain State Park
Lake Waccamaw State Park 
Hanging Rock State Park
Raven Rock State Park
Fort Macon State Park
Fort Fisher State Recreation Area

Please note that restrooms are closed at all state parks. We ask that you do everything you can to maintain social distancing guidelines at the parks. This list will be updated daily at and on Facebook and Twitter.
Thank you for your patience and understanding during this difficult and unprecedented time.

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