Mask mandate back in effect in Boone with COVID cases on the rise again


BOONE, N.C. (FOX 46 CHARLOTTE) – Right now mask mandates are in effect in Boone. Jill Reeves is a business owner for Appalachian Antiques on West King Street and is enforcing it.

People 2-years-old and up will now have to wear a mask inside stores no matter their vaccination status. Town leaders voted to reinstate the rule after about of month of not requiring it.

“We want you to stay in here but you got to have a mask on,” Reeves said. “There are a few stubborn people who just maybe want to be defiant or whatever and we just kindly have to say but to shop here. You have to wear that mask or we get fined.”

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Douglas Firtia is visiting the area along with thousands of others and students returning to class. He says with the rise in COVID cases he understands why town leaders made the decision. It’s one of the only towns in the state to take the step back so far.

“I was actually surprised that it hadn’t gone into effect earlier,” Firtia said. “In Boone given App State and lots of different kids coming back from different places outside of the country, outside of the state, that it’s important that we wear masks inside.”

Jimmy Isaacs is the fire chief and says for the next two weeks law enforcement will be making sure people are aware of the change. If they don’t comply a trespassing charge could be filed.

Right now, the number of COVID cases and hospitalization are rising with the delta variant spreading substantially in the Boone community.

COVID-19 IN NC: Delta fears driving more people to get tested and vaccinated as cases climb to 14%

The percent positivity rate tripled from 3%  to 9% within a two-week period.

“What this is going to mean is an education time to where we educate people that the rules have changed,” Isaacs said. “We’ve got to look at it objectively and what’s going to get us out of this the quickest, and you know, shorter vaccinations. The mass mandate might be the next best thing to get us out of that.”

Town leaders also voted to give the town of Boone employees who have already been vaccinated $150. Any employee who gets their shot in the next two weeks would also get $150.

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