Coronavirus Updates

The health and safety of our community is our number one priority and the City of Lowell wants to make sure that our community has accurate information to help prevent and prepare for COVID-19.  

The City of Lowell will be frequently updating this page with updates pertaining to the City of Lowell and Gaston County regarding the COVID-19 Coronavirus. 

Assistance for Small Businesses

March 31, 2020

The Small Business Administration is offering two forms of assistance to help keep small businesses open. 

There are 2 different ways to apply.

1. Economic Injury Disaster Loans

 EIDL has no application fee, payments are deferred for 1 year, and businesses apply directly to the SBA as opposed to a bank. This loan is for those who have been either indirectly or directly affected by COVID-19. Loans may be available for up to 2 million dollars at a 3.75% interest rate. Loans for less than $25,000 do not require collateral. Loan advances may be available in just a couple of days. Repayment periods can be elongated. 

This loan can be used for: paying fixed debts, accounts payable, and working capital. This loan does not allow the funds to be used for debt consolidation or for expansion use. 

What SBA will be looking at: historical credit history, repayment history, pre-and-post COVID-19 revenues. If businesses do not have a credit history, a profit-and-loss statement may be submitted in lieu of the credit history. It’s also highly to stay in contact with a SBA employee to ensure application is complete. 

2. Payroll Protection Program

More information to come on this program. 


Lowell Playgrounds and Outdoor Fitness Equipment Closures:

March 27, 2020

Per Gaston County’s Stay at Home order, all City of Lowell playgrounds and outdoor fitness equipment will be closed at 5pm today. Our parks will remain open but users should maintain a minimum of 6’ of distance from other people at all times.

Governor Cooper Announces Statewide Stay at Home Order Until April 29


Governor Roy Cooper ordered people in the state of North Carolina to stay at home for thirty days, until April 29, 2020, in another step to slow the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus. Governor Cooper’s Executive Order No. 121 takes effect on Monday, March 30 at 5:00 PM and reduces the size of gatherings to 10 people. The Order provides for essential businesses to continue to operate while prioritizing social distancing measures. The Order has the force of law and will be enforced in all 100 counties statewide.

“To continue our aggressive battle against COVID-19, I have signed a Stay at Home Order for the entire state of North Carolina. Though it is difficult we must do this to slow the disease spread,” said Governor Cooper. “We need our medical system to be able to care for the friends and family we know will become seriously ill from the virus.”

The Governor noted today that three North Carolinians have died due to COVID-19 and the state has 763 confirmed cases of the virus in 60 counties. He called on all North Carolinians to protect themselves by staying home and following social distancing guidelines. North Carolina is now considered to have widespread transmission of the virus, which means people who have tested positive cannot trace where they were exposed to the virus.

The Order directs people to stay at home except to visit essential businesses, to exercise outdoors or to help a family member. Specifically, the order bans gatherings of more than 10 people and directs everyone to physically stay at least six feet apart from others.

“I know this order may lead to even more hardship and heartache. Although we are physically apart, we must take this step together in spirit,” Governor Cooper said. 

The Governor’s full order is available HERE [click.icptrack.com].

Unless noted in the order, previous closures and orders stand as written as do local government orders in cities and counties. Frequently Asked Questions about the Order can be found HERE [click.icptrack.com].

If you do not think your business is included in the essential services list, and you think it should be, you may apply online at the NC Department of Revenue to be designated essential HERE. Until your exemption is reviewed, you may operate as long as your business can accommodate social distancing in your workplace.

For more information about health recommendations and who is designated at high risk for becoming seriously ill, please visit the CDC’s website at www.cdc.gov/coronavirus and NCDHHS’ website at www.ncdhhs.gov/coronavirus.

GASTON COUNTY ISSUES "STAY AT HOME" ORDER

MARCH 26, 2020

GASTONIA, N.C. – Gaston County leadership today issued a “Stay at Home” order for Gaston County residents, to take effect Friday, March 27, at 5 p.m.

Gaston County held off on following what Mecklenburg County and then Cabarrus County did with similar orders this week until evidence was present in the community that such a move was needed. CaroMont Health officials notified Gaston County leadership Thursday morning that the first case community spread of COVID-19 has now been documented and the hospital system was asking for such a designation. Cases of COVID-19 increased from 5 to 11 in the past 24 hours.

The order reduces the size of gatherings from no more than 50 to no more than 10.

The order will remain in place until Thursday, April 16, but can be extended as conditions warrant.

“We have experienced signs of community spread,” Chairman Tracy Philbeck said. “It is clear to me that we have to be swift and act as local government to do what we can do to make sure that this virus does not spread beyond what is manageable.”

Gaston County’s order is similar to those adopted this week in Mecklenburg and Cabarrus counties, but differs in that it is slightly less restrictive on the manufacturing industry.

The county is setting up a hotline that businesses and citizens can call if they have questions about the order. They can call the ‘Stay-At-Home’ Community Hotline between 8:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday at 704-866-3170. This hotline is separate from the Coronavirus Information Line that is already in place. Citizens with questions about the virus or health-related questions, can call 704-862-5303.

Gaston County Government employees will institute its remote-working plan beginning Monday, March 30, utilizing key personnel. Gaston County will continue to serve its citizens as it is doing now, but through online and telephonic services.

Non-essential employees will be paid through administrative leave for up to 7 weeks.

“We should be calm,” Philbeck said. “We should be smart, and we should consider others at this time.”

Lowell Parks and Recreation Updates:

March 24, 2020
-Spring youth baseball has been cancelled and refunds will be processed.
-Although our parks are open for the time being, we are not recommending the usage of fitness equipment or playground equipment due to the dangers of coronavirus and the ability for the virus to live on hard surfaces for hours, if not days. Park users and basketball court users should practice social distancing and keep a minimum of 6’ from other persons at all times.
-Harold Rankin Park bathroom facilities will continue to stay closed until further notice.

Social Distancing

From Gaston County Schools:

March 24, 2020

Beginning tomorrow, we will have a total of 20 site locations for our ’Grab and Go’ meal program. The new locations are:

▪ H.H. Beam Elementary School, 200 Davis Park Road, Gastonia
▪ Brookside Elementary School, 1925 Auten Road, Gastonia
▪ Holbrook Middle School, 418 South Church Street, Lowell
▪ Tryon Elementary School, 2620 Tryon Courthouse Road, Bessemer City

As a reminder the ’Grab and Go" meal program is 10:30 a.m.-12:00 p.m. For a complete list of locations, please visit https://www.gaston.k12.nc.us/grabandgomeals

From NCDHHS:

March 23, 2020

Beginning 5 p.m., Wed., March 25, the following businesses are closed: gyms, movie theaters, sweepstakes parlors, health clubs, hair and nail salons, barber shops, massage therapists, and other similar facilities per an executive order issued March 23, 2020

From Gaston County Schools:

SCHOOLS TO REMAIN CLOSED FOR STUDENTS UNTIL MAY 15

March 23, 2020

Earlier this afternoon, Governor Cooper announced that all public schools in North Carolina will remain closed for students until May 15 because of concerns related to the coronavirus. This includes Gaston County. Please know that we will share additional information with you when it is made available by the Department of Public Instruction and other state-level agencies.

Gaston County CARE Plan to Provide Aid, Boost Economy

March 23, 2020

GASTONIA, N.C. – In the midst of wave after wave of bad news tied to the coronavirus, Gaston County leaders are stepping forward with a plan to help those affected the most – and to provide a shot in the arm for the local economy.

It’s called the CARE (Capital And Relief Expansion) Plan, and is targeted to provide nearly $50 million in a combination of spending on projects and direct relief to nonprofit organizations aiding residents.

Board of Commissioners Chairman Tracy Philbeck championed the plan as a way of having county government make a significant contribution to those suffering in the crisis.

“This is about helping people, and keeping our economy going,” Philbeck said. “We’re calling on our municipal partners around the county and our major employers to join us in supporting our residents.”

The CARE Plan features four prongs.

First, it moves forward three major projects already in the county budget to infuse more than $6.7 million into the economy now. One of those projects is a new Child Advocacy Center being built on land donated by City Church in Gastonia (formerly Bethlehem Church). The $2 million facility will allow staff to better serve the more than 300 children who come to them each year that are the victims of abuse.

The plan also adds $100,000 from the County’s general fund to its Family Advisory Board. That doubles the amount of money the FAB has available to provide to nonprofits who apply to the board for funding.

Third, it puts a $28.25 million facility for Gaston County Emergency Management and Telecommunications along with an $11.25 million fleet management facility forward as projects the County will seek bond approval for from its residents. If approved, those projects would allow the county to continue to infuse money into the economy to keep people working.

Finally, Gaston County’s Department of Health and Human Services is providing $1 million to allow for donations to organizations helping residents in the following seven areas:

  1. Food
  2. Rental/Housing Assistance
  3. Vehicle Payment and Repair
  4. Daycare Supplements
  5. Homebound Clients
  6. Prescription Assistance for individuals not on Medicaid or Medicare
  7. Community Assistance for Foster Children ages 18-21

The $1 million coming through DHHS will use a combination of federal and county dollars.

County Manager Dr. Kim Eagle said the plan highlights the County government’s dedication to doing all it can to help mitigate the economic hardship being caused by COVID-19.

“These projects represent a strategic approach to addressing the economic circumstances that are impacting folks in our community as a result of the virus,” Eagle said.

Gaston County Sees Additional Cases of COVID-19

March 22, 2020

GASTONIA — As of Sunday, March 22nd, the Gaston County Department of Health & Human Services (Gaston DHHS) has received information about three local cases of COVID-19. Gaston DHHS was alerted to two new cases over the weekend in addition to the initial positive result received on March 18th.

As testing increases, more positive cases will be identified. The County will provide local case numbers daily at 3 p.m. at www.gastongov.com/coronavirus. Local Communicable Disease nurses with Gaston DHHS are investigating the new cases and will continue reaching out to contacts. Additionally, if someone has general questions or concerns, they can call the Gaston County Coronavirus Information Line at (704) 862-5303.

If someone is sick and worried they have been exposed to Coronavirus, they should call their primary care provider; officials are still asking the public to call first to review potential risk and symptoms before presenting to any medical facility.

Gaston DHHS is emphasizing the need to practice social distancing during this time to slow the spread and prevent additional infections.

City of Lowell Public Works Update

March 19, 2020

In an effort to keep our employees healthy, the Public Works department will be staggering work schedules to ensure that essential public services continue to be provided.  The Public Works department will be suspending all roadside bulk and brush pickup effective this week but will continue to provide trash pick-up on the regular schedule. All trash must be placed in the city provided receptacle. 

Thank you for understanding during this time of uncertainty and know that continuity plans have been developed to continue to provide essential public services to you without interruption. 

From the U.S. Small Business Administration: 

MARCH 19, 2020

UPDATE: #COVID19 Economic Injury Disaster Loans are now available to small businesses in:
✔️Delaware
✔️Florida
✔️Georgia
✔️Indiana
✔️Massachusetts
✔️New Hampshire
✔️New Jersey
✔️North Carolina
More states to come.

▶️Apply for a disaster loan: https://disasterloan.sba.gov
▶️More #Coronavirus resources for small businesses: https://sba.gov/coronavirus

Gaston County Reports First COVID-19 Case

MARCH 18, 2020

The Gaston County Department of Health & Human Services (Gaston DHHS) is reporting the county’s first positive case of COVID-19.

The individual was tested in Mecklenburg County and the result was reported to Gaston DHHS. The individual is doing well and is self-isolating at home.

“We realize a confirmed case in our community can cause alarm, but this is further proof we need to continue to comply with our social distancing directives and requests,” said Gaston DHHS Director Chris Dobbins. “As testing increases, we anticipate we will see more positive cases and I have never been more confident in our ability to track contacts and monitor individuals to slow the spread.”

Individuals who are sick and worried they may have been exposed to the virus should call their regular provider to review their symptoms. If someone has general questions about COVID-19 or other concerns, they can call our local COVID-19 Call Center at (704) 862-5303.

From Gaston County Schools:

March 18, 2020

Beginning today, Gaston County Schools will make instructional materials available for our students. You may stop by your child’s school to pick up a printed copy or you may download the materials from the Gaston County Schools website. We hope the materials will be helpful to you as we seek ways to provide a focus on academics while our schools are closed. If you have questions, please contact your child’s school.

Please visit the website below for additional information
https://www.gaston.k12.nc.us/gastonathomelearning

As a reminder our ’Grab and Go’ meal program is from 10:30 a.m.-12:00 p.m. We have added five additional locations for your convenience.

Meals are being distributed at the following 16 locations:
▪ Ashbrook High School, 2222 South New Hope Road, Gastonia
▪ Bessemer City High School, 119 Yellow Jacket Lane, Bessemer City
▪ Carr Elementary School, 307 South Pine Street, Dallas
▪ Chapel Grove Elementary School, 5201 Lewis Road, Gastonia
▪ Cherryville Elementary School, 700 East Academy Street, Cherryville
▪ Erwin Community Center, 913 North Pryor Street, Gastonia
▪ Grier Middle School, 1622 East Garrison Boulevard, Gastonia
▪ Hunter Huss High School, 1518 Edgefield Avenue, Gastonia
▪ Kiser Elementary School, 311 East College Street, Stanley
▪ Mount Holly Middle School, 124 South Hawthorne Street, Mount Holly
▪ North Belmont Elementary School, 210 School Street, Belmont
▪ Robinson Elementary School, 3122 Union Road, Gastonia
▪ T. Jeffers Community Center, 121 Hartman Street, Gastonia
▪ Tabernacle Baptist Church, 519 West 19th Avenue, Gastonia
▪ Warlick Academy, 1316 Spencer Mountain Road, Gastonia
▪ Woodhill Elementary School, 1027 Woodhill Drive, Gastonia

Please visit the website below for additional information https://www.gaston.k12.nc.us/grabandgomeals

Gaston County to Close Administration Building

MARCH 17, 2020

GASTONIA, N.C. – Gaston County is closing the majority of its public buildings, including its administration building in Gastonia, effective 5 p.m. on Wednesday.

This is part of the county’s continuing incremental response to the coronavirus crisis. County manager Dr. Kim Eagle directed department directors to use a hybrid model of staggered shifts and remote working options to minimize person-to-person contact.

Exempted from the order to close to the public are the DHHS and Health buildings, the Gaston County Police Department and the Gaston County Sheriff’s Office. However, each of those offices has restrictions in place to protect employees and staff.

Yesterday, the County closed the Gaston Senior Center in Dallas, the Gaston County Museum in Dallas, the North Carolina Cooperative Extension – Gaston County Center in Dallas and the Gaston County Travel and Tourism Center in Belmont. In addition, Gaston County’s Veterans Services Office is closed to in-person appointments, but is still offering services telephonically.

Eagle emphasized that critical services like the tax department and building inspections and permitting unit – would still continue to operate and fully serve the needs of the businesses pushing ahead with projects during this difficult time.

“As public servants, we are prepared to meet the needs of our residents and those we serve through the duration of this crisis,” Eagle said. “This decision is part of an ongoing effort to minimize face-to-face contact with the public for our health and safety and that of our residents.”

The county continues to monitor the situation on the ground in Gaston County with COVID-19. Despite the rise in confirmed cases in neighboring Mecklenburg County, health officials in Gaston do not have a confirmed case within the community.

 

WEDNESDAY, MARCH 18 UPDATE: The Gaston County Courthouse will remain open to the public on a limited basis. Most hearings are delayed for 30 days, per an order from the Chief Justice of the North Carolina Supreme Court.

Gaston County recycling centers and Gaston County Landfill will also remain open.

GASTON COUNTY DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH & HUMAN SERVICES ORDERS CLOSING GYMS AND SELF-SERVICE BUFFETS

MARCH 17, 2020

In keeping with existing measures taken to prevent the spread of COVID-19, the Gaston County Department of Health & Human Services is issuing additional restrictions on local establishments to protect the health and safety of Gaston County residents, especially our most vulnerable members of the community.

In accordance with Gaston County’s Proclamation of a State of Emergency from March 15th, 2020, Item D mandates that, “The gathering of persons in groups of 50 or more in entertainment venues, county and municipal parks, or any other places of public assembly is restricted. Health care facilities, schools, government offices, business operations and day cares are exempted from restrictions.” The local health director is issuing the additional mandates, effective noon on Wednesday, March 18th as follows:

  • All fitness centers and gymnasiums cease operations in Gaston County;
  • Local grocery stores and restaurants in Gaston County will cease operations of their self-service food areas for take-out, unless food is served directly by a staff member practicing appropriate food-safety measures.

These restrictions will be in effect until conditions change.

Board of Commissioners Chairman Tracy Philbeck said, “We do not take these actions lightly. After hearing President Trump’s increased mitigation strategy, we feel strongly we should follow his lead on this to prevent any further outbreak. As he said, the next 14 days are critical. I am fully aware of the impact the virus is having on the economy, specifically small businesses. We are working with business leaders across the county to mitigate loss.”

“While this is not an easy decision, it is the right one,” shared Gaston County Health Director Steve Eaton. “We would like to commend businesses like our local YMCAs and Regal Franklin Square for proactively closing their operations during this period of social distancing. Many are doing their part and practicing ‘social care’ and we thank all our businesses and citizens for taking care of one another and doing their part to ‘stop the spread’.”

Public health officials are working closely with local restaurants and other businesses to help them continue operations while doing everything they can to mitigate risk to their customers. If a business has questions about these orders or how to operate under county guidelines, they can call (704) 853-5200.

GASTON COUNTY PRESS RELEASE

MARCH 17, 2020

CHANGES AHEAD FOR WEDDING LICENSES, BUILDING PERMITS

GASTONIA, N.C. – Gaston County’s ongoing response to the COVID-19 outbreak means some short-term changes in how people apply for wedding licenses or building permits.

Beginning Wednesday, March 18, the Register of Deeds Office, located inside the Gaston County Courthouse, 325 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Way, will be closed to the general public until it becomes safe to re-open. Register of Deeds Susan S. Lockridge said her staff has been working to ensure services will still be available to citizens.

Specifically, those that wish to request records can do so online at deeds.co.gaston.nc.us or in writing via mail. Vital records requests will be handled in the same way – visit the Register of Deeds page on GastonGov.com for more information.

All marriage licenses and Notary oaths will be conducted on an appointment basis only. For marriage licenses, call (704) 862-7687 and for Notary oaths, call (704) 862-7681.

Passport applications have been canceled for the next two weeks. To make an appointment for a passport application after that, call (704) 862-7685.

Lockridge said her office is working closely with the Gaston County health Department and local funeral homes to minimize person-to-person contact when it comes to the filing of death certificates.

Building inspections in Gaston County will also see some changes over the next several weeks.

Building Services Department Director Brian Sciba is implementing new procedures to help keep County inspectors safe when entering homes. They’ll bring a questionnaire to those that need an inspection to see if a delay of three weeks can be implemented. If not, they’ve asked the public to avoid handshaking, keeping a six-foot distance from the inspector to maintain social distancing and having paperwork prepared beforehand to minimize the amount of time an inspector would need to be on site.

Sciba emphasized that despite the changes, the department is working to ensure projects are not delayed because of anything within the department’s control.

The grants division of Building Services will halt all in-person applications for the time being and ask will handle those contacts by phone or email. 

NORTH CAROLINA TO CLOSE RESTAURANTS AND BARS FOR DINE-IN CUSTOMERS, ALLOW TAKEOUT AND DELIVERY OPERATIONS TO CONTINUE

MARCH 17, 2020

Effective 5pm today, restaurants and bars will close for dine-in customers. Takeout and delivery options can continue. Governor Cooper and members of the Coronavirus Task Force are holding a media briefing today at 2pm, where they will announce the Executive Order. 

The executive order will also include an expansion of unemployment benefits to help North Carolina workers affected by COVID-19.

CITY OF LOWELL UPDATES

MARCH 16, 2020

The health and safety of our community and employees is very important to us. In order to help prevent the spread of the COVID-19 (Coronavirus) the City of Lowell is taking precautions by limiting face-to-face contact at City Hall and at city-sponsored events.

City Hall and the Community Center will be closed to the public until further notice. Payments may be made at the drop box in the City Hall parking lot, online, or by phone. The City of Lowell is suspending non-pay water utility disconnects and waiving any fees associated with non-payment for the Month of March. Customers who have questions can contact the City’s Customer Service number during regular business hours at 704-824-3518 and press 1.  

In response and support of Gaston County’s recommendation to limit gatherings to less than 50 people, the City of Lowell will be postponing the following events to a later date: River Sweep, Easter Senior Luncheon, and the Flashlight Easter Egg Hunt. 

The Lowell Community Center is closed until further notice and all events currently scheduled will be cancelled and money refunded.

Youth sports programs are currently suspended until further notice. 

The Lowell Police Department will continue operations as normal and will respond to calls as they come in. In an attempt to prevent the spread of the COVID-19 (Coronavirus), citizens are restricted from inside the police department. The lobby of the police department will still be open to the public, but it’s strongly requested to handle business by phone or email. If you need to file a report please call (704) 824-8540. If you need to pick up a report, please have your insurance company send a request for it.

There are currently no schedule or service changes for Public Works. 

Utility Payment Information:
For payments, please utilize the secure drive-up drop-box located behind the building. Place your payment, (check, money order, or cash) in an envelope with your payment stub. It’s important to include your payment stub from your bill to ensure your payment is applied to the appropriate account. As a reminder, you can pay your bill with a debit/credit card by calling us toll-free at (844)262-8223. We also offer a direct draft option where your payment will be drafted monthly from your account. You can also pay through on-line bill pay through most financial institutions. Simply set up “The City of Lowell” as a vendor and they will mail us a check each month.


GASTON COUNTY PRESS RELEASE

MARCH 16, 2020

GASTON COUNTY CLOSES LIBRARIES, SENIOR CENTER

GASTONIA, N.C. – Gaston County continues to respond to COVID-19, announcing today it is closing all 10 branches of its public library system for at least the next three weeks.

County leaders are evaluating needs on a day-by day basis and will have a decision made by the end of the month whether those closures will need to be extended.

The closure order goes into effect on Tuesday, March 17. Also included in the closure order is the Gaston Senior Center in Dallas, the Gaston County Museum in Dallas, the North Carolina Cooperative Extension – Gaston County Center in Dallas and the Gaston County Travel and Tourism Center in Belmont. In addition, Gaston County’s Veterans Services Office is closed to in-person appointments, but is still offering services telephonically.

The order is part of the County’s goal of limiting large gatherings after Chairman Tracy Philbeck issued a State of Emergency on Sunday limiting gatherings to no greater than 50 people.

The Board of Commissioners are playing their part as well. They are canceling work sessions during the months of April and May. Clerk to the Board Donna Buff is working to reschedule any non-essential items that would cause large crowds for the meetings that will need to take place.

Additionally, public zoning meetings will be delayed until May 26th. For the Board of Commissioners meetings that will still happen over the next six weeks – beginning with March 24th – the County will limit the total number of persons inside the commissioners meeting room to no more than 50. Two rooms are available elsewhere inside the Gaston County Courthouse, where the board meets, for any overflow crowds to be able to watch the meeting via livestream on television.

Advisory boards will delay meetings until May at the earliest unless absolutely necessary.

On Monday afternoon, Gaston County manager Dr. Kim Eagle led a teleconference of municipal leaders and community partners to discuss response to COVID-19. Many municipalities, including Gastonia, Lowell and Ranlo, mentioned they have halted water-service turn-offs during this crisis. The cities and towns of Gaston County have worked in close coordination with County leadership to ensure the safety of their citizens and a consistent message.

Dr. Jeff Booker, Superintendent of Gaston County Schools, said the district will begin feeding students breakfast and lunches via grab-and-go sites at 11 schools across the county (see the end of the release for full list).

Also on Monday, Chairman Philbeck announced the formation of a faith-based task force, to communicate with various congregations across the county during the coronavirus threat.

He’s asked Venture Lead Pastor Austin Rammell and Friendship Baptist Church Bishop John McCullough II to co-chair the task force, which will be critical in reaching out to Gaston County’s faith-based community.

Pastor Rammell spoke at a press conference Monday afternoon, pleading with other pastors to be responsible in the shepherding of their congregations and to heed the advice of health professionals. Rammell also brought to the table concerns about gatherings such as weddings and funerals for the 50-person gathering restriction, which the county has currently under discussion.

Video of Monday’s press conference will be made available on the County’s YouTube page, shared on its social media channels and available at GastonGov.com.

"GRAB AND GO" MEAL PROGRAM FOR STUDENTS

MARCH 16, 2020

Gaston County Schools will provide “grab and go” meals for students beginning Tuesday, March 17. This service offers a nutritious meal for children while schools are closed because of concerns related to the coronavirus.

Meals will be distributed at the following 11 locations:
▪ Bessemer City High School, 119 Yellow Jacket Lane, Bessemer City
▪ Carr Elementary School, 307 South Pine Street, Dallas
▪ Cherryville Elementary School, 700 East Academy Street, Cherryville
▪ Erwin Community Center, 913 North Pryor Street, Gastonia
▪ Grier Middle School, 1622 East Garrison Boulevard, Gastonia
▪ Kiser Elementary School, 311 East College Street, Stanley
▪ North Belmont Elementary School, 210 School Street, Belmont
▪ Robinson Elementary School, 3122 Union Road, Gastonia
▪ Tabernacle Baptist Church, 519 West 19th Avenue, Gastonia
▪ Warlick Academy, 1316 Spencer Mountain Road, Gastonia
▪ Woodhill Elementary School, 1027 Woodhill Drive, Gastonia

At each location, distribution will take place on the following days from 10:30 a.m. until 12:00 noon:

▪ Tuesday, March 17
▪ Wednesday, March 18
▪ Thursday, March 19
▪ Friday, March 20
▪ Monday, March 23
▪ Tuesday, March 24
▪ Wednesday, March 25
▪ Thursday, March 26
▪ Friday, March 27

How does the program work?
The “grab and go” meal service will work much like our summertime feeding program, and it is intended to help families who depend on our School Nutrition program for meals.

▪ When you arrive at the meal pickup location that is most convenient for you, look for the school bus in the front parking lot.
▪ Go to the school bus and ask for a meal. The meal will be packaged in a bag.
▪ The meal will be provided to children (age 18 and younger) free-of-charge.
▪ You should plan to take the meal with you – there will not be a place to eat on-site.
▪ You may pick up a meal at any of the 11 locations, regardless of where you live or attend school.

If you have a question about our “grab and go” meal program, call (704) 836-9110.

ALL SCHOOLS WILL BE CLOSED FOR TWO WEEKS, March 16-27

MARCH 14, 2020
Governor Cooper has announced that all public schools in North Carolina will be closed for the next two weeks (March 16-27) for students because of concerns related to the coronavirus. This includes Gaston County. We will provide information via e-mail for employees about their work schedule. We also will provide more information for students, parents, and employees as it becomes available.

GASTON COUNTY PRESS RELEASE

MARCH 12, 2020

GASTON COUNTY LEADERS URGE AVOIDING LARGE GATHERINGS

GASTONIA, N.C. – After a productive meeting with representatives from municipal governments, CaroMont Health and Gaston County Schools, Gaston County is strongly recommending Gaston County residents avoid gatherings of more than 50 people for the foreseeable future.

The board is also prepared to declare a State of Emergency if a coronavirus case is confirmed within Gaston County or if neighboring counties see a spike in cases.

This comes as neighboring Mecklenburg County announced two presumptive positive cases for COVID-19 on Thursday. Gaston County has not had a positive test as of 3 p.m., Thursday afternoon, but continues to prepare for that very real possibility.

“We want to be out in front of this,” Board Chairman Tracy Philbeck said. “Now isn’t the time to play politics. We need to do what’s right for our citizens.”

The move came with the support of the county’s public health department, which has been trumpeting a proactive approach to the crisis. Department of Health and Human Services Director Chris Dobbins is pushing the message to residents of “Call Before You Come.” Put simply, Public Health wants residents to call their primary care providers and describe their symptoms and get instructions for what to do.

Gaston County is also taking the step of cancelling all County-sponsored events where large gatherings would be present until further notice. This does not include Board of Commissioners meetings.

County Manager Dr. Kim Eagle arranged the meeting Thursday as part of the County’s ongoing response to the coronavirus. At the conclusion of the meeting, Chairman Philbeck and Director Dobbins spoke to the gathered media, which included WSOC-TV and The Gaston Gazette.

The full video of that press conference will be available this afternoon on Gaston County’s social media pages and website, gastonGov.com. That video is available for media use.

CORONAVIRUS CALL CENTER IN GASTON COUNTY

MARCH 11, 2020

Gaston DHHS has opened up a call center to help answer your questions or concerns around COVID-19.

The public can call (704) 862-5303 between 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. After hours calls will be directed to the state’s 24/7 call center.

If someone is having a medical emergency, they should call 911.

Find out more here:
https://www.gastongov.com/news_detail_T32_R253.php