The City of Asheville re-opened its public-facing offices on October 12, 2020.
A significant planning effort—consulting with public health officials and implementing COVID-19 transmission mitigation efforts—made the reopening possible.
During the pandemic, city staff continued to provide most services in a modified fashion, such as using drop boxes for transactions traditionally handled in-person and virtual meetings to allow for social distancing.
The City will continue to offer these alternative means of accessing services, and the public is encouraged to continue to use online services and in a manner that allows for social distancing. However, if residents need or want to access City offices, they can now do so in a modified capacity.
Safety procedures are in place to help keep residents and City employees safe.
As of Oct. 12, the following City offices are now open with limited capacity:
- City Hall, 70 Court Plaza (Max Capacity: 50)
- Municipal Building, 100 Court Plaza and all fire stations
- Asheville Public Works and Development Services Department, 161 S. Charlotte St. (Max Capacity: 3)
- Parking Services, 45 Wall St. (Max Capacity: 2)
Parks & Recreation Community Centers are currently being utilized as Learning Centers in partnership with local school systems and will remain closed for use by community groups and the general public.
Following the guidance of public health and safety officials, here are some changes that have been instituted:
- Installation of plexiglass barriers for public-based work
- Increased sanitation and cleaning of facilities
- Public accessibility of hand sanitizer and disposable face coverings
- Social distancing markers and signage
- Comprehensive internal procedures for employees to foster a safe workplace
- Limited building occupancy levels to allow for adequate physical distancing
Visitors to any City facility should wear a face covering in accordance with the May 22 Stay Safe, Stay Smart order and Gov. Roy Cooper’s more recent Phase 3 Executive Order, which requires face coverings for individuals in all indoor public commercial facilities. We also ask that the public maintain 6 feet of physical distance from one another.
A variety of measures will be taken to ensure that we know who is in City buildings. Facilities may use a combination of visitor passes handed out at security and new electronic check-in systems. Additionally some departments will be implementing a customer check-in process that will allow visitors to be notified by phone when customer service staff is available. Visitor limitations will be calculated and implemented based upon the size of the facility and the current occupancy standards.
City Council and committee meetings will continue to be held virtually at this time. Please visit the City’s Virtual Engagement Hub for information on how to listen, watch and participate in City meetings.
Other City services
If you wish to have other in-person service, we recommend that you visit ashevillenc.gov to schedule an appointment with the department you wish to speak with. Staff is working on a staggered schedule, and this will ensure someone will be available to assist you.
Follow the 3 Ws
The City has been coordinating the local COVID response along with the Buncombe County Health Department, which has consistently recommended these three actions:
- Wear a cloth mask over your nose and mouth in public settings
- Wait 6 feet apart. Avoid close contact
- Wash your hands frequently or use hand sanitizer