County launches coronavirus call center

Haywood County public health nurses are now available to answer Covid-19 questions via a call center. To speak with a public health nurse, dial the local call center at 828-356-2019, between 8 a.m. and 7 p.m. Monday through Friday. Read more here.

The state also has a 24-hour North Carolina Coronavirus Helpline at 866-462-3821.

Inside Haywood podcast on all-things corona

Join reporters from The Mountaineer newsroom for our weekly podcast, with this week's show dedicated to coronavirus coverage. This week's podcast reflects on the unfolding coronavirus crisis from our team of boots-on-the-ground journalists.

Listen to Inside Haywood every week, including past shows, from our podcast page or subscribe free through your favorite podcast service to never miss a show.

Spring break update

Students across Haywood County are adapting to learning from home through an online portal called Google Classroom, with daily assignments and support from their teachers. Students will get a week off from lessons during spring break the week of April 6.

In order to continue the enormous undertaking of providing free meals to students during spring break week, school staff will not take off that week, however. Instead, the five days off that staff would have normally gotten for spring break will be spread five consecutive Fridays, from April 1 through May 3.

Those weeks, the Thursday meal distribution will include two days worth of food to cover Friday as well. More than 6,000 meals are being provided every weekday with drive-by pickup lines at schools and delivery along bus routes.

The Haywood County School Board held an emergency meeting via live streamed conference call Wednesday night to approve the outside-the-box approach to staff spring break to prevent an interruption to meal distribution.

Smokies closes everything

The Great Smoky Mountains National Park has now closed completely, including trails and roads, through April 6. The Smokies had phased in closures over the past 10 days, beginning with visitor centers, then campgrounds, restrooms and picnic areas, and now even trails and roads.

The latest move was prompted by large crowds flocking to the Smokies over the weekend. See the full story here.

Waynesville utility customers

Waynesville will suspend utility disconnections for non-payment for a period of up to 60 days in an effort to assist those impacted by the coronavirus crisis. State law does not permit the town to waive utility charges, late fees or penalties, however, so past due amounts would eventually have to be paid.

Social Security offices

Social Security offices across the country are closed to in-person visits, with services being provide over the phone instead. For more information, click here.

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