Phase 2 Information Updates

Protecting the safety and health of our residents continues to be the top priority of the City of Gastonia, especially during the public health crisis caused by COVID-19. The City is complying with the State of North Carolina's executive orders designed to slow the spread of the novel coronavirus. The state is using a three-phase approach to ease restrictions put in place in March because of COVID-19. The governor's Stay at Home order took effect March 30. Phase 1 of the reopening process began on May 8. The state's second phase, called "Safer at Home," began May 22. A face covering requirement took effect June 24. Phase 2 has been extended twice and now continues through Sept. 11. 
 
With the continuation of Phase 2, North Carolina maintains its requirement for residents to wear face coverings when in public, indoors or outdoors, where it is not possible to remain 6 feet from other people. 

Residents are still strongly urged to follow the three W's:

  • Wear a cloth face covering while in public
  • Wait 6 feet apart to maintain a safe distance
  • Wash hands frequently

City buildings, services and meetings in Phase 2

The City of Gastonia continues to provide essential services to residents. The information below explains how some services and access to City facilities have been revised in response to COVID-19. 

City of Gastonia buildings

  • City office buildings are closed to the public, including Gastonia City Hall, the Garland Municipal Business Center and Utility Customer Service Center, Parks and Recreation administrative offices, and Recreation Centers. Other options for paying utility bills.
  • Visitors to the Gastonia Police Department and Fire Stations are to use a call button next to the front door. 

Utility service

Executive orders by the governor of North Carolina temporarily halted disconnection of utility service for nonpayment. However, customers are still required to pay for the water, sewer service and electricity they used during this time.

-Residential utility customers

  • On July 30, the City of Gastonia and Two Rivers Utilities resumed normal collections procedures on past-due residential accounts.
  • Residential customers with balances that became past due between March 31 and July 29, 2020, can apply for an extended payment plan.
  • Under an extended payment plan, the amount of the past-due balance is divided into six monthly payments. These payments must be paid on time and in addition to the current bill to avoid possible disconnection of service.
  • If a customer does not apply for an extended payment plan, their utility services are subject to disconnection for nonpayment effective July 30, 2020.

-Nonresidential utility customers

  • The City of Gastonia and Two Rivers Utilities temporarily halted disconnection of utility service for nonpayment. However, customers are still required to pay for the water, sewer service and electricity they used during this time.
  • On June 3, the City of Gastonia and Two Rivers Utilities resumed normal collections procedures on past-due nonresidential accounts.
  • Nonresidential customers with balances that became past due between March 31 and June 1, 2020, can apply for an extended payment plan.
  • Under an extended payment plan, the amount of the past-due balance is divided into six monthly payments. These payments must be paid on time and in addition to the current bill to avoid possible disconnection of service.

Events

  • Most City-sponsored public events are canceled or postponed until further notice. An updated list of events is on the City's Facebook page.

Parks and Recreation

  • Parks, greenways, trails and open spaces in City parks are open sunrise to sunset, but visitors should maintain a social distance of 6 feet from others.
  • Athletic fields and outdoor basketball and volleyball courts at parks facilities are open. Gatherings limited to 25 or fewer, and visitors should maintain social distancing.
  • Park restrooms open 8 a.m.-7 p.m. with regular closings for cleaning and sanitation.
  • Drinking fountains are closed.
  • The Lineberger Park pool is open with limited capacity. Three daily swim sessions. Water slide closed. No swim lessons this summer.
  • Erwin Park pool is open with limited capacity. Two daily swim sessions. 
  • Rankin Lake boathouse is open Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays. New requirements are in place because of COVID-19.  
  • Skeet and Trap Range is open Thursdays through Sundays. New requirements are in place because of COVID-19.
  • Lineberger Park miniature train is open Thursdays through Sundays.
  • Picnic shelter reservations are open to groups of up to 25 people.
  • Splash pads, playgrounds and outdoor exercise equipment are closed.
  • Recreation Centers, community centers and the clubhouse are closed.
  • Youth and adult recreation/athletic programs, and Parks and Recreation classes and events are suspended until further notice.
  • Veterans Museum is closed.
  • Parks and Recreation administrative offices are closed to the public.

Schiele Museum of Natural History and Planetarium

  • Museum interior closed to the public during Phase 2. Employees are taking care of the live animals.
  • The Schiele Nature Trail and outdoor exhibits are open. Visitors are asked to follow social distancing guidelines.

Solid Waste service

  • City garbage and recycling pickup continue as scheduled.
  • Yard waste collection is continuing. Crews may be delayed.

Gastonia Police and Fire

  • Gastonia Police and Fire shifts are fully staffed. Police officers and firefighters have been provided personal protective equipment and educational material. If you see GPD officers wearing face masks/coverings, this is in response to recommendations from the CDC.
  • The front doors of the Gastonia Police Department are locked until further notice. Visitors should press the call button for assistance or call the GPD front desk at 704-866-6702.
  • All fire stations are closed to the public. If contact is necessary please ring doorbells and assistance will be provided as soon as possible.
  • Community room reservations at Police and Fire stations are canceled until further notice.
  • Gastonia Police firing range is closed to the public.
  • Children’s car-seat checks are temporarily suspended.
  • Fingerprinting in CSI for the public is temporarily suspended.
  • Community Watch meetings are temporarily suspended.
  • All state-mandated business inspections are suspended.

 Gastonia Transit

  • Bus routes are running as scheduled.
  • Passengers can ride City buses for free March 25 through Oct. 31, 2020.
  • Transit passengers are to wear face coverings. Passengers should not ride City buses if they have been diagnosed with COVID-19, have COVID-19 symptoms or have been exposed to the coronavirus.
  • Passengers are to enter and exit the bus through the rear door to maintain social distancing from the driver.
  • Bus interiors, doorways and the transit center are cleaned and disinfected hourly or after each round trip.  
  • The 85X express bus is on a modified schedule. Fares and schedule are determined by the Charlotte Area Transit System (CATS). CATS resumed charging fares June 8.

Gastonia City Council meetings and Advisory Committee meetings

  • All Gastonia City Council meetings are being held at City Hall until further notice. The number of people in the room, including elected officials and City employees, is limited to 10.
  • Individuals who wish to speak during the public comment portion of a City public meeting must register in advance and attend remotely.
  • Public can watch meetings via livestream on City’s website. Until further notice, meetings on the third Tuesday will no longer be broadcast on government-access cable TV channels because TV camera operators will not be attending the meetings.
  • Advisory Committee meetings canceled or held via teleconference.

Gastonia Farmers Market

Gastonia Conference Center

  • Closed until further notice.

Important resources about the coronavirus and COVID-19

Health information

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Individuals and families

**This page was last updated Aug. 5, 2020.**