Press Release - Town of Emerald Isle: COVID-19 Updates

Press Release

April 27, 2020

Town of Emerald Isle: COVID-19 Updates

The Town of Emerald Isle remains under a State of Emergency in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. In an effort to limit the spread of the coronavirus while maintaining essential services, the Town has implemented several operational changes to ensure social and physical distance and limit exposure. Provided below is an update on Town operations, services and events.

Short Term Rental Restrictions

The Town of Emerald Isle will extend a mandatory restriction on short term rentals through May 8, 2020 at 11:59 PM.  The restriction prohibits the renting of a hotel room, motel room, rental housing unit, condominium, RV campsite, primitive campsite, or similar accommodation.

Property owners/managers may accept occupants effective May, 9, 2020.  Contracts currently on file for the period April 30 – May 8, 2020, may be honored at the sole discretion of the property owner/manager. 

Public Beach Parking Areas

The Town of Emerald Isle stresses that tourist travel to the area remains highly discouraged.  All public parking areas, restrooms, and playgrounds in Emerald Isle remain closed at this time. 

Based upon the current NC Stay at Home Order (through May 8, 2020), the following approach will be taken in Emerald Isle regarding public parking facilities:

  • May 9, 2020- Third Street parking lot will open to the public.
  • May 9, 2020- Station Street parking lot will open to the public.

The Western Ocean Regional Access (WORA) and Eastern Ocean Regional Access (EORA) remain closed due to construction.  These parking areas will be made available to the public, (1) once construction is complete and (2) it is deemed safe to operate public restroom facilities. 

Water Access

Emerald Isle residents and property owners can access the waters of the Atlantic Ocean and Bogue Sound.  Permitted activities include swimming, surfing, kiting, kayaking, fishing, and boating.  Residents can walk, jog, and sit on the beach strand.  All beach goers must adhere to the current social distancing guidelines.    

Municipal Facility Closings

The Emerald Isle Administration Building (7509 Emerald Drive) and the Police Department (7500 Emerald Drive) have limited public access.  The Emerald Isle Community Center and all Parks & Recreation maintained facilities, remain closed to the public until further notice. Although these facilities are closed, the work of the Town continues uninterrupted through the COVID-19 response.

Emerald Isle residents and guests can access the Town’s full array of online resources at If needed, individuals may drop off necessary paperwork and building permit applications at a drop box located in Town Admin building foyer. While Town Hall is closed, Town staff will check the drop box throughout the day. The Town will mail acknowledgements and receipts upon request.

Anyone with questions or concerns is encouraged to call 252-354-3424.  Staff will reply promptly during normal business hours.

Contact Information

Planning, Inspections and Permits

Josh Edmondson, Town Planner


Accounts Payable/ Receivable/ Taxes

Laura Rotchford, Finance Director


Non-Emergency Police Department Services

Tony Reese, Chief of Police


Parks and Recreation Services

Alesia Sanderson, Parks and Recreations Director


Public Works: Solid waste/ Yard Debris/ Roads

Artie Dunn, Public Works Director


Stay at Home

It is imperative that all citizens comply with the “Stay at Home” order issued by Gov. Cooper, which is in effect through May 8, 2020.  For everyone’s safety, follow the recommendations of the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the NC Department of Health and Human Services (NCDHHS).  Limit travel to essential needs.  Maintain social distancing (of 6-feet or greater separation) and limit gatherings to groups of 10 or less.  Wearing a protective face covering, when in public, is also recommended.


For press inquiries, contact:

Matt Zapp, Town Manager


Posted by Rhonda Ferebee Monday, April 27, 2020 4:39:00 PM Categories: News