mask requirement

Matt Bush / Blue Ridge Public Radio

Buncombe County commissioners voted Wednesday afternoon to reinstate a indoor mask requirement for public buildings and facilities.  The measure goes into effect immediately.


Updated Aug. 18. 2021 12:06 p.m.

Masks will be required in indoor public places in the city of Charlotte and unincorporated areas of Mecklenburg County starting Wednesday at 5 p.m., making it among the largest cities in the South to have a mask mandate. The measure applies to anyone 4 years old and older, regardless of whether they have been vaccinated, and will last until at least Sept. 1.


Students and staff in 8 out of 16 school districts in BPR’s listening area will not be required to wear masks indoors. Masking indoors and for unvaccinated people is recommended by the Centers for Disease Control.


Buncombe, Henderson, Swain, Madison, Macon and Jackson Counties as well as Asheville Schools and Cherokee Central Schools will require masking on campus. This list was updated on August 17th. 

Matt Bush

An indoor mask requirement will be returning in Buncombe County.  County board chair Brownie Newman said in a social media post Thursday that commissioners will vote on the measure at their next meeting this coming Tuesday.  Newman added he’s spoken with Asheville Mayor Esther Manheimer and the city will align its policies with the county's. 

North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper says the state will “cautiously ease” some COVID-19 safety restrictions on Friday, including a requirement that people wear face masks outdoors. They’ll still be required in most indoor public settings.

Similar to the phrase “No shirt, no service” -- businesses are also protected to enforce the state’s face mask requirement. That was one of the takeaways of a webinar on Wed. hosted by the Asheville Convention and Visitor’s Bureau.   

The program focused on the handling of customers who refuse to wear face coverings. One argument voiced by noncompliant customers  is that it’s a “constitutional right to refuse to wear a mask.”   Atlanta labor Attorney Andria Lure Ryan says that's not the case.