Phase 2.5 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. Effective Sept. 4, the state is in what is called Phase 2.5. More facilities and venues can open in this phase, while others remain closed or have capacity limits. During Phase 2.5, 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 2.5

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 stopped the disconnection of utility service for nonpayment from March 31 through July 30. 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.

-Nonresidential utility customers

  • The City of Gastonia and Two Rivers Utilities have 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.


  • 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, 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.
  • Some youth and adult league recreation teams are playing this fall.
  • 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.
  • Rankin Lake boathouse is open Saturdays and Sundays. Requirements are in place because of COVID-19.  
  • Skeet and Trap Range is open Thursdays through Tuesdays. Requirements are in place because of COVID-19.
  • Picnic shelter reservations are open to groups of up to 50 people or maximum shelter capacity, whichever is lower. Social distancing requirements apply.
  • Indoor facilities and department offices are closed until further notice.
  • Lineberger Park miniature train is closed until further notice.
  • Splash pads are closed. Swimming pools are closed for the season.

Schiele Museum of Natural History and Planetarium

  • The interior of the museum reopened to the public on Sept. 11.
  • 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 and recycling pickup continue as scheduled.
  • Yard waste collection is continuing. Crews may be delayed.
  • Free Excess Household Trash Week will take place as scheduled Sept. 21-25.

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 25.
  • 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 held via teleconference or livestreamed from City Hall.

Gastonia Farmers Market

Gastonia Conference Center

  • Closed until further notice.

Important resources about the coronavirus and COVID-19

Health information


Individuals and families

**This page was last updated Sept. 18, 2020.**

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