April 26, 2020. BLOWING ROCK, NC — On Friday, an open letter from Blowing Rock Civic Association (BRCA) to the Watauga County Board of Commissioners appeared in HCPress.com. The local organization’s message to the Board members, in summary, was to request cancellation of “…the Quarantine Order for homeowners concurrent with commencement of Phase 1 of the Governor’s data-driven decision to begin lifting restrictions.”
The BRCA letter requests lifting restrictions on all homeowners, but pointedly seeks to remove barriers for seasonal residents to return to their High Country homes without the need to self-quarantine.
While the Governor’s three-phase plan does not appear to specifically mention local self-quarantine restrictions imposed by county and municipal governments, Phase 1 ( scheduled for implementation on May 8th) does aim to modify the Governor’s “Stay at Home” order by allowing people not currently defined as essential to leave home for commercial activity “…at any business allowed to be open, such as clothing stores, sporting goods stores, book shops, houseware stores, and other retailers.”
…the Stay At Home order for presumably full-time residents and the self-quarantine restrictions aimed at newcomers to the area since the pandemic crisis began are really aimed at two different demographics, with the same goal but different objectives.
At first glance, Watauga County’s requirement that visitors and seasonal residents returning to the High Country self-quarantine for 14 days upon arrival appears to conflict with the Governor’s “loosening up.” However, the Stay At Home order for presumably full-time residents and the self-quarantine restrictions aimed at newcomers to the area since the pandemic crisis began are really aimed at two different demographics, with the same goal but different objectives.
In response, the letter below from full-time Blowing Rock resident Joe Amorosa takes exception to the BRCA request.
Editor’s Note: The opinions expressed by the letter-writer are those of the author and not necessarily representative of the views and opinions of Blowing Rock News, its managers, or employees. We welcome well-articulated views on subjects relevant to our local area.
So the Blowing Rock Civic Association has asked the Watauga County Board of Commissioners to cancel the quarantine order for seasonal homeowners who want to return to Blowing Rock without having to endure the 14-day quarantine.
CLICK HERE to read the BRCA Letter at HCPress.com:
Who does the BRCA represent, the seasonal homeowners or the residents of Blowing Rock? As far as I know, the (full-time) “residents” have been doing an excellent job of staying home, many putting on masks when shopping, keeping a safe distance, and generally doing whatever possible to avoid catching or passing on this disease to others.
They see it as a reasonable precaution.
Furthermore, none of our friends who are seasonal residents have expressed concern about having to self-quarantine once they get back. They see it as a reasonable precaution that protects others as well as themselves.
Speaking as one of the full-time residents, I’d like to see all of us respect those rules, and continue to respect them as long as the threat remains. As you may have noticed, Watauga County — with a large university, a major international relief organization that has gone wherever they are needed, and a steady stream of tourists visiting the area — has done very well with an almost month-long record of eight cases and no deaths. Meanwhile, during this same period other areas just a few miles away aren’t even close to their peak of cases and deaths. We also have an excellent health care organization in our county that is doing its best to protect and care for all of us. We owe it to those professionals to keep the number of cases as low as possible.
I suggest that the BRCA back off…
As far as I know, these seasonal residents will be returning from hotspots in the South where the rate of the virus is still increasing. I personally don’t see why bringing some groceries with them and staying in their homes for 14 days is such an imposition. Enjoy the fresh air from your deck and from your own neighborhood. You can order grocery and takeout deliveries to your home.
We should all, including seasonal residents, do what we can to maintain the low level of infection here. After all, if we all do our share, we will stand out as an area where people might want to buy homes and visit because of our isolation, low infection rate, and our collective readiness to do what we can to minimize passing on this horrible virus to our residents and visitors.
I suggest the BRCA back off and respect all of our residents rather than just our seasonal ones.
Joe Amoroso, Blowing Rock