Latest News

Carteret County Press Release #2 - April 1, 2020 

Posted by Rhonda Ferebee Wednesday, April 1, 2020 5:20:00 PM Categories: News

Carteret County Press Release - Confirmed COVID-19 Cases Age and Gender Breakdown 

Posted by Rhonda Ferebee Wednesday, April 1, 2020 3:38:00 PM Categories: News

Carteret County Press Release - March 31, 2020 

Posted by Rhonda Ferebee Tuesday, March 31, 2020 10:30:00 AM Categories: News

Message from Mayor Eddie Barber - We are EMERALD ISLE 


The world around us is changing and sometimes the future seems uncertain. Since I have been Mayor, we have been through hurricanes, tragic events, tornadoes and other storms and now we are facing this silent storm COVID-19. But through it all we are still EMERALD ISLE. 

What makes us strong is the ability to get through difficult times together. This will be no exception. We will get through this together. We are EMERALD ISLE.

I would like to thank our Town Staff for all their hard work in the past weeks and in the weeks to come. They work so well together. Our primary concern is the safety of all our citizens. They help to make us safe and strong. We are EMERALD ISLE. 

What makes our Town so unique is our ability to be caring and loving. To be respectful and concerned about one another.

In this time of self isolation call your neighbors or a friend or family member to check on them. Let them know that you care. Reach out with compassion, love, reassurance and concern. Be calm and ever helpful. We are all in this together. We all share in the health and well being of one another.Please follow the safety guidelines and please be responsible. We are EMERALD ISLE.

One of my favorite hymns is "It Is Well With My Soul" written by Horatio Stafford after the death of two of his children. May these words give you comfort.

When peace like a river, attendeth my way,

When sorrows like sea billows roll,

Whatever my lot, Thou hast taught me to know,

It is well, it is well with my soul."

I encourage you to stay positive, safe, responsible and compassionate. We will get through this together. Tough times do not last forever, but compassion, hope, faith and love shall last forever.

It is well with my soul. I ask you to set aside some time on Friday, April 3 and pray for our World, Nation, State and our beloved Emerald Isle. Pray in your own way, but let us unite together in Prayer.


Posted by Rhonda Ferebee Tuesday, March 31, 2020 9:41:00 AM Categories: News

Carteret County Issues Amended Proclamation - Mandatory Restriction on Short Term Rentals in Carteret County 

Posted by Rhonda Ferebee Monday, March 30, 2020 4:59:00 PM Categories: News

North Carolina "Stay at Home Order" General FAQs 


What does a stay at home order mean?  (Print Copy)

  • It means everyone in the State of North Carolina is required to stay at their place of residence except that they may leave to provide or receive essential services or engage in essential activities and work for essential businesses and government services.
  • It restricts travel upon public streets, alleys, or roadways or other property except by those in need of medical assistance, food or other commodity or service necessary to sustain the well-being of themselves or their families or some member thereof.

What is the purpose/goal of this order?

  • To ensure the maximum number of people self-isolate in their places of residence while enabling essential services to continue to slow the spread of COVID-19 to the maximum extent possible.

When does this order go into effect and when will this order be lifted?

  • The order goes into effect on March 30, 2020, beginning at 5 p.m. and shall remain in effect through April 29, 2020, unless repealed, replaced or rescinded by another applicable Executive Order. An Executive Order rescinding the Declaration of the State of Emergency will automatically rescind this Order.

Will the town be closing the bridge?

  • There are currently no plans to restrict traffic on or off the island.  This order permits travel in specific circumstances and will permit travel on North Carolina State Highways for that purpose.

How does this order change the previous executive order prohibiting mass gatherings of 100 people or more?

  • Executive Order 117 prohibited gatherings of 100 people or more on public property only.  Executive Order 121 supersedes that section of the Order by significantly expanding the restrictions imposed to prohibit both public and private gatherings of more than 10 people. All other sections of Executive Order 117 remain in effect.

What is allowed?


  • Go to the grocery, convenience or warehouse store
  • Go to the pharmacy to pick up medications and other healthcare necessities
  • Visit a health care professional for medical services that cannot be provided virtually (call first)
  • Go to a restaurant for take-out, delivery or drive-thru
  • Care for or support a friend or family member
  • Take a walk, ride your bike, hike, jog and be in nature for exercise – just keep at least six feet between you and others
  • Walk your pets and take them to veterinarian, if necessary
  • Help someone to get necessary supplies
  • Receive deliveries from any business which delivers

What is not allowed?


  • Go to work unless you are providing essential services as defined by this Order
  • Visit friends and family if there is no urgent need
  • Maintain less than 6 feet of distance from others when you go out
  • Visit loved ones in the hospital, nursing home, skilled nursing facility or other residential care facility, except for limited exceptions as provided on the facility websites
  • Travel except for essential travel and activities

What is the difference between “stay-at-home” and “social distancing”?

  • Stay at home is a stricter form of social distancing. Stay at home means:

o Stay home (stay unexposed and do not expose others)

o Only go out for essential services

o Stay 6 feet or more away from others

o Don’t gather in groups

What activities are considered essential?

  • Activities that are considered essential:

o For health and safety

o To get necessary supplies and services

o For outdoor activities (walking, hiking, golfing, running, cycling, using greenways)

o For work for essential businesses/operations

o To take care of others

o Place of worship

o To receive goods and services

o Place of residence

o Volunteering (charitable and social services)

Am I allowed to go outside to exercise?

  • Yes – but maintain social distancing of at least 6 feet from all others.

What are the requirements for social distancing?

  • Required measures include:

o Designate 6 foot distances

o Hand sanitizer and sanitizing products

o Separate operating hours for vulnerable populations

o Online and remote access

What businesses are considered essential?

  • Businesses and types of work that are considered essential:

o All business, industry, work, and service sectors identified as “critical infrastructure” by the Cybersecurity Infrastructure & Security Agency (CISA) of the Department of Homeland Security in the Memorandum on Identification of Essential Critical Infrastructure Workers During COVID-19 Response issued on March 19, 2020. (  The list includes:

  • Healthcare, public health operations
  • Human Services Operations
  • Essential Infrastructure Operations
  • Essential Government Operations
  • Stores that sell groceries and medicine
  • Food, beverages, and agriculture (manufacturing, production, processing, cultivation including farming, livestock, fishing, baking, distribution of animals and good for consumption, providing food, shelter, and other necessities for animals)
  • Organizations that provide charitable and social services (businesses and religious and secular nonprofit organizations including food banks, when providing food and shelter, social services, and other necessities for life for economically disadvantaged or needy individuals, individuals who need assistance, and people with disabilities).
  • Religious entities
  • Media
  • Defense Industrial Base
  • Gas stations and businesses needed for transportation (gas stations and auto-supply, auto-repair, and related facilities and bicycle shops and related facilities)
  • Financial institutions (banks, currency exchange, consumer lenders, including but not limited, payday lenders, pawnbrokers, consumer installment lenders and sales finance lenders, credit unions, appraisers, title companies, financial markets, trading and future exchanges, affiliates of financial institutions, entities that issue bonds, related financial institutions, and institutions selling financial products)
  • Hardware and supply stores
  • Critical trades (building and construction – plumbers, electricians, exterminators, cleaning and janitorial staff for commercial and governmental properties, security staff, operating engineers, HVAC, painting, moving and relocation services, and other service providers who provide services that are necessary to maintaining the safety, sanitation, and essential operation of residences, essential activities, and essential businesses)
  • Mail, post, shipping, logistics, delivery, and pick-up services (post offices and other businesses that provide shipping and delivery services, businesses that ship or deliver groceries, food, goods or services to end users or through commercial channels)
  • Laundry services
  • Restaurants for consumption off-premises (in-house delivery, third-party deliver, drive through, curbside pick-up, and carry-out)
  • Supplies to work from home
  • Supplies for essential businesses and operations
  • Transportation (airlines, taxis, public transportation, vehicle rental, logistics)
  • Home-based care and services (home-based care for adults, seniors, children, people with disabilities)
  • Residential facilities and shelters
  • Professional services (legal, accounting, insurance, real estate, restricted to appraisal and title services)
  • Manufacture, distribution, and supply chain
  • Hotels and motels
  • Funeral services

A detailed list of essential jobs and businesses can also be found in the Governors Executive Order #121 found here:

What does this mean for non-essential businesses?

  • Non-essential business and operations must cease – all businesses and operations in the

Town of Emerald Isle, except essential businesses and operations, are to cease all activities within the town limits except minimum basic operations. Businesses may continue operations consisting exclusively of employees or contractors performing activities at their own residences (i.e., working from home).

  • If a business owner believes that they may be essential then they may direct requests to be included in the essential business list to the North Carolina Department of Revenue.
  • All businesses ordered closed by Executive Orders 118 and 120 shall remain closed.

What are minimum basic operations?

  • The minimum necessary activities to maintain the value of the businesses’ inventory, preserve the condition of the business’s physical plant and equipment, ensure security, process payroll, and employee benefits, or for related functions.
  • The minimum necessary activities to facilitate the employees of the business being able to continue to work remotely from their residences.

Am I allowed to travel?

  • You are allowed to travel for purposes of essential business and essential activities.

What is considered essential travel?

  • Any travel related to the provision of or access to essential activities, essential governmental functions, essential businesses and operations, or minimum basic operations.
  • Travel to care for elderly, minors, dependents, persons with disabilities, or other vulnerable persons
  • Travel to or from education institutions for purposes of receiving materials for distance learning, for receiving meals, and other related services.
  • Travel to return to a place of residence from outside the jurisdiction
  • Travel required by law enforcement or court order, including to transport children pursuant to a custody agreement.
  • Travel required for non-residents to return to their place of residence. Individuals are strongly encouraged to verify that their transportation out of Emerald Isle remains available and functional prior to commencing such travel.

What does this mean for short term rentals?

  • All short term rentals for any property are prohibited until April 29, 2020 but will be regularly reviewed and evaluated and can be revised, amended, or extended based on recommendations from the Governor of North Carolina and/or the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services.
  • Renters currently occupying short term rental properties shall be permitted to complete the current rental contract but are required to follow the requirements of this order.

Where can I stay up-to-date on any changes and news about Town of Emerald Isle operations, services, and programs due to COVID-19?

Posted by Rhonda Ferebee Friday, March 27, 2020 7:47:00 PM Categories: News

Emerald Isle expands COVID-19 restrictions 

Press Release 

March 27, 2020

Emerald Isle expands COVID-19 restrictions

EMERALD ISLE, N.C.-  In collaboration with appropriate federal, state, county, and local officials, the Town of Emerald Isle continues to take action to reduce the spread of COVID-19.  Today, Mayor Eddie Barber will expand a local State of Emergency to include mandatory restrictions for the protection of the Town of Emerald Isle.  View Emerald Isle Expanded State of Emergency

Effective March 27, 2020 at 11:59 PM, Emerald Isle will place a mandatory restriction on short term rentals.  The restriction prohibits the renting a hotel room, motel room, rental housing unit, condominium, RV campsite, primitive campsite, or similar accommodation through April 29, 2020.

Emerald Isle officials call on all citizens and businesses to voluntarily follow the Stay at Home Order issued by Gov. Roy Cooper.

“For everyone’s protections, Gov. Roy Cooper issued Executive Order 121. The order requires citizens across North Carolina to stay at home through April 29, 2020,” said Mayor Eddie Barber.  “Visitors should be aware that travel to Emerald Isle is not permitted during this time. For a community anchored in hospitality, this is a very difficult message to send and share.”

Public beach parking areas, playgrounds, and restroom facilities in Emerald Isle remain closed. 

Residents, guests, and contractors are asked to use online or telephone service options to secure permits, make tax payments, or submit service requests. Normal hours of operation will continue at the Administration Building (7509 Emerald Drive) and Police Department (7500 Emerald Drive).  Non-essential walk-in traffic is restricted at these buildings until further notice.

The Town of Emerald will continuously monitor the COVID-19 situation and provide updates to the public and media via our website ( and social media sites.  We sincerely appreciate your cooperation and understanding during these challenging times.  


For press inquiries, contact:
Matt Zapp, Town Manager

Posted by Rhonda Ferebee Friday, March 27, 2020 7:03:00 PM Categories: News

Be Aware of COVID-19 Scams 


As always, the police department is here to serve and protect our community as we face this unprecedented time. A crisis like this can bring out the best in people, but unfortunately, it also brings out the worst.  Scammers never miss an opportunity to prey on the fear or sympathy of the public and are already using this crisis to  take advantage of and defraud you. Fake web sites, phone calls, email, and disinformation circulating social media are making the rounds. According to United States Attorney’s Office, the following are a list of COVID-19 scams to be aware of:

•  Treatment scams:  Fake cures, vaccines, and advice on unproven treatments.

•  Supply scams:  Fake shops, websites, social media accounts, and email addresses claiming to sell medical supplies currently in high demand, such as surgical masks.

•  Provider scams: Contact by phone and email, pretending to be doctors and hospitals that have treated a friend or relative for COVID-19, and demanding payment for that treatment.

•  Charity scams: Soliciting donations for individuals, groups, and areas affected by COVID-19.

•  Phishing scams: Posing as national and global health authorities, including the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), scammers are sending phishing emails designed to trick you into downloading malware or providing personal identifying and financial information.

•  App scams: Creating and manipulating mobile apps designed to track the spread of COVID-19 to insert malware that will compromise your devices and personal information. 

•  Investment scams:  Offering online promotions on various platforms, including social media, claiming that the products or services of publicly traded companies can prevent, detect, or cure COVID-19, and that the stock of these companies will dramatically increase in value as a result. 

We recommend that you always question when asked to buy or supply your financial information and never give your personal or financial information to anyone unless you can and have verified they are legitimate.  To learn more on how to combat and report these scams, go to

James A. Reese
Chief of Police
Emerald Isle Police Department
7500 Emerald Dr
Emerald Isle, NC 28594
Office: 252-354-2021
Fax: 252-354-6767

Posted by Rhonda Ferebee Friday, March 27, 2020 9:14:00 AM Categories: News

Important COVID-19 Precautions and Information 


As a county, town and local community, we are taking necessary precautions to protect the island.  Please know that every decision is being made on the basis of human safety and access to resources.

In unison with Carteret County and neighboring towns, Mayor Eddie Barber declared a State of Emergency for Emerald Isle on March 19, 2020. 

TOURIST TRAVEL: Carteret County and the municipality of Emerald Isle released public statements to discourage tourist travel to the Crystal Coast.   Throughout Carteret County and upon Emerald Isle, short-term rentals are being suspended between March 22 and April 6, 2020. 

CLOSURES:  Emerald Isle has closed our public beach access parking lots, all public restrooms, public playgrounds, and suspended beach driving access until further notice.

RESTRICTIONS:  Any additional closures, travel limitations, and/ or restrictions will come from the Governor’s office and in unison with Carteret County. 

LOCAL CASES:  As of 11:15 am, March 26, 2020, Carteret County has no new confirmed cases of COVID-19 to report. Of the five previously confirmed cases, two of the cases have recovered and are off isolation. The two recovered patients completed the necessary isolation requirement and have been free of COVID-19 symptoms for at least 72 hours. The recovered patients are now able to continue with daily functions.

STAY INFORMED:  For the most up-to-date local information, please monitor, follow us on Facebook, Twitter and download the Emerald Isle app. 

Governor Roy Cooper encourages all North Carolinians to take personal precautions to limit contact with others.  We encourage the same practices for Emerald Isle.    Turn to these sources for reliable information:

Thank you deeply for being an integral part of Emerald Isle!  We pray that everyone remains safe and practices social distancing.

Respectfully-Matt Zapp
Town Manager
Town of Emerald Isle

Posted by Rhonda Ferebee Thursday, March 26, 2020 4:50:00 PM Categories: News

Emerald Isle Beach Nourishment Update 


 The Town of Emerald Isle and the Carteret County Shore Protection Office are excited to inform property owners that beach nourishment in western Emerald Isle is scheduled to begin the first full week of April (see Map).  However, residents may have already observed pre-construction activity: (1) Great Lakes Dredge & Dock has begun transporting beach pipe in the direction of the nourishment area starting March 26, 2020.  They intend to stack the pipes just east of Bogue Inlet Pier on a temporary basis, before transiting the pipes under the Pier, and then continuing westward to the nourishment area. (2) A few weeks ago, Great Lakes Dredge & Dock set their submerged pipeline in the nourishment area near the Dear Horn Dunes subdivision.  The pipe will be used to pump sand from the dredge to the beach, going east and then west, from the submerged pipeline landing.

Carteret County Shore Protection Office
Greg “Rudi” Rudolph
252 222-5835 Office

Posted by Rhonda Ferebee Thursday, March 26, 2020 2:04:00 PM Categories: News
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