Avery County has announced a temporary end to short term rentals in the county.

According to a press release, Avery County government, Health Department, Emergency Management, and Sheriff’s Office are requiring lodging facilities, for example, air bed and breakfasts, campgrounds, timeshare units, condos, motels, hotels, and other rental programs or places where leases or rentals are for less than one month in duration, be suspended in Avery County until April 18.

The decision is in effect as of 5 pm Wednesday March 25.

The release says the action is consistent with actions taken by other communities across the state and nation to slow the spread of the COVID-19 virus due to human travel, which has the potential to exacerbate the spread of the virus and the anticipated strain on limited healthcare facilities caused by it.

Exemptions are allowed for work related stays, emergency facilities and homeless shelters. The statement goes on to say the county recognizes the need to allow the use of hotels and other facilities for emergency service workers, essential service workers, displaced residents needing shelter, and other response and mitigation efforts related to COVID-19 in the coming days and weeks, and that the County will be constantly
monitoring the need for this and may lift the requirement earlier if it is not needed to protect the public health.

Anyone with questions can call County Manager Phillip Barrier at 828-733-8201.

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Here is the full text of the press release:

Avery County Government Press Release

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
25 March 2020

COVID-19 Response – Local State of Emergency
Avery County Government Suspension of All
Short-Term Rentals Effective Immediately

The Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic continues to pose a looming threat to the health and safety of the people of Avery County. Avery County Government continues to be proactive in taking the necessary steps to slow the spread of the disease through all appropriate means.

Effective Wednesday, March 25, 2020 at 5:00 p.m., Avery County government, the Health Department, Emergency Management, and Sheriff’s Office are requiring that lodging facilities, for example, air bed and breakfasts, campgrounds, timeshare units, condos, motels, hotels, and other rental programs or places where leases or rentals are for less than one month in duration, be suspended in Avery County until April 18, 2020. This action is consistent with actions taken by other communities across the state and nation to slow the spread of the COVID-19 virus due to human travel.

Human travel promotes the spread of this disease and the presence of visitors in Avery County has the potential to exacerbate the spread of the virus and the anticipated strain on our limited healthcare facilities caused by it. This suspension is to assist in preventing the spread of the COVID-19 virus in a manner and at a pace that overwhelms the County’s ability to respond effectively in the coming days.

Exemptions are allowed for work related stays, emergency facilities and homeless shelters. We understand that rentals for work related stays for construction workers or other essential services already in place will need to continue. We also recognize the need to allow the use of hotels and other facilities for emergency service workers, essential service workers, displaced residents needing shelter, and other response and mitigation efforts related to COVID-19 in the coming days and weeks.

We realize that this places a burden on the hotel accommodations and short-term rental sector of our economy and this requirement is not made lightly. This requirement is in effect until April 18, 2020, but the County will be constantly monitoring the need for this and may lift the requirement earlier if it is not needed to protect the public health.

Thank you for your patience and understanding as together, we beat this pandemic.

If you are the owner of a business and have any questions or concerns, please call Phillip Barrier, County Manager at 828-733-8201.