- State of North Carolina news release about the easing of some capacity limits and other restrictions
- State of North Carolina executive order effective Feb. 26 easing some capacity limits and other restrictions
- Frequently asked questions about the easing of some capacity limits and other restrictions
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
- 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.
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, 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.
- 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.
- 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
- All Gastonia City Council meetings are being held at City Hall until further notice. Individuals who wish to speak during the public comment portion of a City public meeting must register in advance and attend remotely.
- The 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.
- Advisory Committee meetings held via teleconference or livestreamed from City Hall.
- Open but following state guidelines for reduced capacity.
Important resources about COVID-19 and vaccinations
- Gaston County COVID-19 vaccine information
- Gaston County COVID-19 case count dashboard
- Gaston County's Gaston SAVES initiative (information about masks, vaccines and COVID testing)
- North Carolina Dept. of Health and Human Services vaccine website and hotline: 1-888-675-4567
- North Carolina Dept. of Health and Human Services COVID-19 information website (NC COVID-19 case count, resources for individuals and businesses)
- U.S. Centers for Disease Control coronavirus website
- U.S. National Institutes of Health coronavirus website
- Gaston Recovers small-business bridge loan program announcement, overview and application
- North Carolina COVID-19 resources for businesses and employers
Individuals and families
- Gaston County coronavirus hotline (to report businesses operating over capacity or not following distancing guidelines, M-F, 8 a.m.-5 p.m.): 704-862-5303
- Gaston County CARE plan (rent, mortgage and utility bill assistance for individuals who lost income during the COVID-19 pandemic)
- Gastonia Electric Assistance Resource (GEAR helps low-income customers pay their electric bills)
- Crisis Assistance Ministry of Gastonia (assistance with utility bills, rent/mortgage payments and food)
- NC 2-1-1 hotline and website (free information and referral service about locally based health, financial and human services)
- NC360 website (free referrals to local assistance with food, housing, health care, financial, child care, mental health and other needs)
- NC Crisis Intervention Program (assists qualifying individuals and families unable to pay the cost of heating or cooling their residence)
- NC Child Care Hotline for local care options for children under age 12: 1-888-600-1685
- NC health insurance options
- NC unemployment assistance
- NC Check My Symptoms (interactive tool to determine if you should be tested for COVID-19)
- NC Find My Testing Place (interactive locator of COVID-19 testing sites)
- NC Slow COVID NC exposure notification app
- Gaston County Schools meals available for pickup for remote learners
- Cathy Mabry Cloninger Domestic Violence Shelter in Gaston County. Crisis line: 704-852-6000
**This page was last updated Feb. 26, 2021.**