More of what’s going around:
-A U.S. military veteran in his 80s, who was admitted to the Charles George VA Medical Center in Asheville recently, is Buncombe County’s second COVID-19 related death, according to Buncombe County health officials. More details here, with reminders about who remains most at risk, and what people should keep doing to limit their exposure, including physical distancing and staying home when at all possible.
-N.C. Gov. Roy Cooper on Thursday issued a new executive order putting stronger social distancing requirements in place for retail stores, and more, the Hendersonville Lightning reports. The order also makes earlier COVID-19 guidelines mandatory for nursing facilities while recommending that other long-term care facilities to do the same. The order also made changes aimed at trying to speed up certain benefit payments to those who are out of work. Read the full order here.
-The City of Asheville has issued new rules for how people can participate in government meetings moving forward through the novel coronavirus outbreak in leading up to Asheville City Council’s meeting, and a budget work session, on Tuesday. Council members Keith Young, Sheneika Smith and Brian Haynes will participate in the 3 p.m. work session and 5 p.m. City Council meeting via video conferencing. The public will not be allowed to attend the meetings, but they’ll be streamed online. And public comment will be taken prior to the regular City Council meeting by phone, with calls being played during the City Council meeting in the order received for up to an hour for each agenda item. All the instructions are here.
-Ann Dunn, the artistic director and executive director for the Asheville Ballet since its inception 40 years ago, has announced that the organization is canceling a show scheduled for next month. It’s the first time since the Asheville Ballet’s inception 59 years ago that it has had to cancel a concert in its main season.
“Next month, we were to premiere work by seven choreographers at our home auditorium, Diana Wortham Theatre. But the theaters are all, of course, dark,” Dunn writes. “It takes a long time to create a piece of dance art, and many people must work in close proximity to each other for hours at a time. To protect our choreographers and dancers, we halted our rehearsals in early March, sterilized and locked the studio, and went each to our own homes.”
More: “This eventuality is deeply sad for us all on an artistic level, however my first concern has been for the survival of the artists. Some have gone on meagre unemployment, some have applied for temporary loans, I have applied for a temporary relief loan, and we ask people who can to help support the company with a tax-deductible donation.
“Next year, The Asheville Ballet will celebrate its 60th anniversary. I have been at the helm of this wonderful organization for 40 of those years. I have watched it grow to become the only, year-round, resident professional company in our region. We are your community dance company. And we look forward with excitement to carrying our work for you into the 2020-21 Season. The company and the community will celebrate endurance and art together again.”