Everyone here at Carolina Cabin Rentals is so glad to have you interested in coming back to The High Country! We wish you to be well and stay safe. We think we have a wonderful area for you to enjoy time together and the great outdoors with fresh mountain air! Can’t wait for you to come!
Governor Roy Cooper announced today with Executive Order 163 that after a summer of hard work to slow the spread of COVID-19, North Carolina will take a modest step forward move into Phase 2.5 starting this Friday, September 4th at 5pm. Mask mandates and other prevention methods remain in effect and are even more important to contain the virus.
A modification to the county’s state of emergency — approved by the Watauga County Board of Commissioners on Sept. 1 — lifts the restriction for playgrounds, outdoor courts, picnic shelters and short-term rentals, which went into effect at 5 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 4. The modification was made in order to align with Gov. Roy Cooper’s phased plan for easing restrictions. Short-term rentals will be able to operate at 100 percent capacity.
Governor Roy Cooper announced today with Executive Order 155 that the Executive Order 151 that was set to expire at 5:00 PM August 7th, will now be extending the Phase 2 Re-opening plan another 5 weeks through 5:00 PM September 11th, instead of moving to Phase 3. He said that while our North Carolina virus trends are staying steady, and not spiking, like they are in some other states, and we have hospital capacity, he sees that they could still jump higher.
He also maintained the plan to re-open public schools, and he says the best way to reach that goal is to maintain a cautious approach to re-opening and to practice the the 6-foot social distancing and wear a mask anytime you are out in public where you cannot practice 6-foot social distancing.
Governor Roy Cooper announced today that upon the expiration of Executive Order 147 that was set to expire at 5:00 PM July 17th, that he will be extending the Phase 2 Re-opening plan instead of moving to Phase 3. He said that while our North Carolina virus trends are staying steady, and not spiking, like they are in some other states, and we have hospital capacity, he sees that they could still jump higher.
He also announced today the plan to re-open public schools on August 17th, and he says the best way to reach that goal is to maintain a cautious approach to re-opening and to practice the the 6-foot social distancing and wear a mask anytime you are out in public where you cannot practice 6-foot social distancing.
While a private residence or the great outdoors in the mountains is a great place to practice social distancing in the fresh mountain air, Section II. of Executive Order 147 provides new requirements to wear face coverings in North Carolina when interacting with people.
While we encourage you to read the full executive order, linked HERE and above, the order states that in certain settings, face coverings are required whether inside or outside. The point that keeps getting repeated in each setting is that people (workers and customers) shall wear face coverings when they are or may be within six (6) feet of another person, unless an exception applies. This applies to retail stores, restaurants, personal care businesses, child care, camps, state government, transportation, long term care or other health care facilities, meat or poultry processing plants, and certain high density occupational settings.
Carolina Cabin Rentals offers properties in 7 counties across North Carolina and Tennessee, so this may not apply to the activities of your particular time in one of our vacation rentals, but the Town of Boone has a directive in place requiring face masks for businesses located inside the Town of Boone. As a help, below is a map to show you the town limits of Boone, NC. The update Town of Boone State of Emergency May be seen HERE.
While the property you will be staying in is not physically located inside the town limits of Boone, NC, you very well may visit restaurants or businesses located in the Boone Town Limits. The June 16th Boone Town Council Meeting issued an amendment to the town’s state of emergency declaration regarding wearing face masks:
“The amendment to the town’s state of emergency declaration will require that people wear face coverings in areas of establishments that are open to the general public, with exceptions for people who may have health issues related to wearing a mask, people at restaurants who are eating and drinking at their tables and children younger than 10 years old. Violation of the restriction would be punishable by an infraction, but police would be directed to first educate upon the first offense, and then give a warning before citing someone with an infraction.”
For the latest update, you may want to visit the following websites:
Watauga County’s updated state of emergency states that business operations shall be modified to allow for 50% occupancy of the business. Carolina Cabin Rentals is monitoring the daily occupancy of our business across Watauga County so as to keep the business occupancy in compliance. If a home is available to be rented, you may know that we are monitoring the overall occupancy and you are welcome to rent the home and enjoy your time here in the mountains.
The Watauga County directive is currently expected to apply ONLY to stays that occur within Watauga County until Phase 3 Opening has begun in the state of North Carolina, currently expected to be around June 26th, though that date could be adjusted by the state (On 6/24/20 the governor extended this to July 17th)
If you are planning a trip to Watauga County with a mixed group of people who do not share the same household, there was a press release that you may want to read on the Watauga County website. If you are looking to reserve a home inside Watauga County and come with family members who reside in the same residence, this does NOT apply to you. Please read the latest updates on any occupancy restrictions, as provided on the following websites:
While the directives above may influence your decisions, in an effort to comply with Watauga County directives, you should know that Carolina Cabin Rentals is regularly reviewing the reported occupancy of all our homes in Watauga to confirm that, in aggregate, across all homes, our occupancy is in compliance. If occupancy looks like it will be higher, in aggregate, than the directive indicates, we will address that occupancy at the county level. Please come an enjoy our beautiful mountains, as there is lots of room to enjoy!
Avery and Ashe County have ended their ban on short term rentals along with the Governor’s Phase I Safer at Home Order. Watauga County has continued their short term rental ban until the Governor moves to Phase II, currently expected to be some time around May 20 to June 3.
While Avery and Ashe County initially expected their State of Emergency to expire April 23rd, they extended their state of emergency along with the Governor’s Stay at Home Order until May 8th.
Effective today, April 1, 2020 at 1:00 PM Avery County has banned all short term rentals and anyone arriving from outside Avery County are ordered to self-quarantine for 14 days. This provision is to stay in effect until April 29, 2020 unless modified or extended.
Effective today, March 26th at 12:00 PM, Watauga County has banned all short term rentals for less than 30 days, unless certain exemptions are met. Please read the State of Emergency for fuller details.
Ashe County amends its March 22nd State of Emergency Declaration to ban short term rentals effective March 26th at 5:00 PM
President Trump announced today some practical guidelines to help slow the spread of Coronavirus. HERE is a link to the flyer of things to practice to help slow the spread.
The Good News!
The good news is that not much has had to change to our cleaning protocols here at Carolina Cabin Rentals, Inc. We always take our cleaning and disinfecting seriously to meet our goal to provide an excellent stay for each guest and owner. Prior to COVID-19, we already had thorough and in-depth cleaning objectives in place that each of our cleaners and cleaner contractors must adhere to. However, with the emergence of COVID-19, we have made some changes and additions to our cleaning protocol based on information gathered from the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Centers for Disease Control (CDC).
There is a Difference Between Cleaning and Disinfection
Our protocol already made the distinction for our cleaners that it is not only important to clean, but some areas particularly need to be disinfected as well, for example, bedside tables, counters, tabletops, and refrigerator handles. Kitchen and baths have always been in our directives to both clean and disinfect, but on March 11, 2020, we expanded the directive to our cleaners to include additional “high touch” surfaces to include doorknobs, keyless entry locks, light fixtures/switches, telephones, remotes, keyboards, climate control surfaces, and tablets. They were instructed to not spray electronics so as to not damage the electronics, but rather to use appropriate disinfectant wipes in such cases. Linens were continued to be washed and dried with proper laundry procedures on the highest appropriate heat settings.
Use of EPA Registered Products
While our cleaning objectives already included language to use disinfectant where required, we updated our objectives to incorporate the necessity to use appropriate disinfectants for Coronaviruses listed by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). We provided the list to the cleaners to have them verify the disinfectants they use would meet the objectives. Here is a LINK to the list of approved disinfectants by the EPA we provided to them. In addition we reminded them to follow the manufacturer’s instructions for proper application (concentration, application method, contact time, and ventilation) for success.
Personal Protective Equipment
While we had previously encouraged our cleaners to use Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), such as disposable gloves, while cleaning or handling linens, we not only reinforced the necessity of that directive/objective, we expanded that to include facemasks and the importance of properly removing PPE disposing of used, soiled or contaminated items in a lined container that would be removed from the property. We also emphasized the importance of washing hands, particularly right after removing gloves, by thoroughly washing with soap and water for 20 seconds. If soap and water were not readily available, we directed them to use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer, that contains at least 60% alcohol, as instructed by the Center for Disease Control (CDC).
Individually Wrapped/ Single Use Items
We have continued to place new, individually wrapped items in the home for guest use. With each arrival, our team makes sure that new, individually wrapped soaps, shampoos, toilet paper, paper towels, dishwasher tablets, and a kitchen sink sponge are placed ready for use.
Inspection and Maintenance
We provide our inspection and maintenance teams disposable gloves, facemasks and individual bottles of appropriate hand sanitizers that met the minimum alcohol content, per the CDC. They are to use such products during their inspection and/or maintenance visits, but, if they are called to the property during a guest stay, they are required to use such items as well as practice social distancing of 6 feet.
Read the State of Emergency HERE