Date: May 29, 2020
To: All Montreat Residents- Full and Part Time
From: Montreat Town Council
Greetings from the Town Council. We hope you are staying well during this most unusual time. Even as restrictions loosen up, it remains a confusing and frustrating time for all of us. As a Board, we want you to know we embrace our responsibility in protecting all Montreat residents, full and part time, by ensuring that everyone, residents and guests, are aware of the local COVID-19 regulations. It is a bit challenging since restrictions not only differ from state to state, but even within the state of North Carolina. Thus, we want to make sure people living in or visiting Montreat are aware of the restrictions. And because many of us in Montreat fall into the “vulnerable” class, it makes it even more important.
It is not our intent to outline every restriction, but to highlight those most important to our lives here in Montreat and to direct everyone to more exhaustive sources. What follows are key and pertinent points about the restrictions:
- Currently, Buncombe County regulations are somewhat more restrictive than those of North Carolina. The more restrictive take precedence.
- Part-time residents are free to stay in their properties for any length of time. If from out of state, they are encouraged (but not required) to quarantine for 14 days.
- Buncombe County had a restriction of no tourism except those within the 828 area code. However, that restriction was lifted upon entering into Phase 2 on May 22. Therefore, rental houses in Montreat are within in COVID-19 guidelines. If from out of state, renters are encouraged (but not required) to quarantine for 14 days. We simply ask that owners inform renters that COVID-19 restrictions are in place in Montreat with an outline of key restrictions.
- Buncombe County’s Phase 2 restrictions call for the use of face masks in all indoor public commercial facilities for anyone over the age of 12. Due to closures in Montreat, at this time this regulation would apply principally to the Post Office. However, as other facilities open, masks will be needed.
- Indoor gatherings remain limited to 10 people, while outdoor gatherings can now include 25 individuals
- MRA wilderness areas are open but social distancing and restrictions for outdoor gatherings must be followed
- MRA outdoor spaces such as the tennis courts, Welch Field, Monkey Bottom, and Dowd Green are open but social distancing and restrictions for outdoor gatherings must be followed
- MRA facilities, including the campground, remain closed to the public at this time
- Robert Lake Park remains closed to the public at this time.
- People may congregate inside in groups of 10 or less with proper social distancing and in groups of 25 or less outside
- Currently there are no public restrooms available in Montreat
- Although funerals are exempt from gathering maximums, MRA requests that ceremonies in the Memorial Garden maintain a maximum of 25 participants
As you know, COVID-19 regulations and recommendations continue to evolve, sometimes on a daily basis. We pledge to keep you informed of changes relative to those issues pertinent to Montreaters. The primary communications media we will use are the Montreat website (www.townofmontreat.org) with a special COVID-19 button on the homepage as well as the Montreat Minute, including special editions as needed. The signs at the gate are intended to inform visitors that COVID-19 restrictions are in force at Montreat with additional information on the Town website.
We thank you for your cooperation and adherence to the regulations and restrictions. By doing so, we will all have a better chance at staying healthy through the pandemic.
The Montreat Town Council