COVID Phase 3 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 and encouraging residents to be vaccinated when they are eligible, based on their priority group.

On Feb. 26, North Carolina lifted its modified stay-at-home order and increasing capacity limits on bars, restaurants, gyms, museums and many other indoor and outdoor facilitties. Outdoor sports venues can operate at 30% of capacity. Museums can operate at 50% of capacity. However, the state's mandatory mask mandate remains in place.

North Carolina is using color-coded County Alert System regarding the spread of the coronavirus. Gaston County is classified as "red" with critical levels of community spread.
North Carolina requires that a face covering be worn in all indoor settings if non-household members are present. Face coverings are also required outdoors when it is not possible to maintain at least a 6-foot distance from others.

North Carolina is using a phased approach to ease restrictions designed to slow the spread of COVID-19. The state is currently in Phase 3.

Residents are 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 3

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, and departmental administrative offices. 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 stopped the disconnection of utility service for nonpayment from March 31 through July 30, 2020. However, customers are still required to pay for the water, sewer service and electricity they used during this time. The City of Gastonia and Two Rivers Utilities resumed normal collections procedures on past-due residential accounts on July 30, 2020.


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

Parks and Recreation

  • Parks, greenways, trails, playgrounds 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 for passive recreation. Limitations on contact sports. No organized practices or games at park facilities without authorization.
  • Park restrooms open 8 a.m.-7 p.m. with regular closings for cleaning and sanitation.
  • Drinking fountains remain turned off. Please bring your own water.
  • Picnic shelter reservations are open to groups of up to 50 people or maximum shelter capacity, whichever is lower. Social distancing requirements apply.
  • Some Community Centers have reopened and offer a modified list of activities. Click the link to learn more.

Schiele Museum of Natural History and Planetarium

  • The museum is open. Visitors must reserve tickets in advance, wear face coverings and follow social distancing guidelines.
  • The Schiele Nature Trail is open. Outdoor exhibits are open with an Educational Adventure ticket.

Solid Waste service

  • City garbage collection continues as scheduled.
  • Leaf vacuuming ended Feb. 15. The City has resumed collecting yard waste two times each month.

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, 2020 through April 3, 2021.
  • 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.
  • 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, 2020.

Gastonia City Council meetings and Advisory Committee meetings

Gastonia Conference Center

  • Open but following state guidelines for reduced capacity.  

Important resources about COVID-19 and vaccinations

Health information


Individuals and families

**This page was last updated Feb. 26, 2021.**

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