April 24, 2020
Honorable Members of Watauga County Commission,
I am writing on behalf of the board of directors of the Blowing Rock Civic Association to recommend that you cancel the Quarantine Order for homeowners concurrent with commencement of Phase 1 of the Governor’s data-driven decision to begin lifting restrictions.
We understood the initial need for a 14 days quarantine to reduce the risk of importing the virus and to assure the adequacy of regional healthcare resources to treat virus patients.
We now believe the time has come for lifting the restrictions on all homeowners and begin welcoming back our seasonal residents. Seasonal residents present a low risk of importing the virus since most are couples who have been under Stay at Home Orders for weeks prior to arrival and who are as likely to be concerned about managing their own risks going forward due to their age demographic.
Your decision to lift the quarantine will remove a major barrier for seasonal residents who are concerned about managing their needs during the quarantine period. Seasonal homeowners also provide the foundation for our economic base in Watauga County and Blowing Rock by paying a substantial portion of our property taxes and supporting our local businesses and charities. The local economy will be unnecessarily impacted if residents delay their return.
Currently, we have “essential workers” and tourists driving in and out of our Town who present a much higher risk than homeowners who will abide by Stay at Home rules. Managing these risks present to you a more difficult challenge than managing the risks of homeowners, but homeowners will continue to be treated as a higher risk than others if you leave the Quarantine Order in place.
We understand your decision should be data-driven as the Governor has indicated in laying out his three phased recommendation, so do not think that our recommendation does not respect your role to protect the health and safety of our residents. We believe by following the Governor’s plan you can lift your more restrictive orders starting with the Quarantine Order.
Thank you for considering our recommendation.
Blowing Rock Civic Association