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Gaston County shuts down libraries and senior center; parks still open

Parks will remain open, and there will be more workers cleaning park equipment.

GASTONIA, N.C. — Gaston County leaders ordered libraries, its senior center, and the Schiele Museum to shut down beginning Tuesday.

County parks will remain open, but county manager Dr. Kim Eagle said recreational programs are canceled.

"We will redirect staff from other areas inside of the county to do more frequent cleaning in the parks," Dr. Eagle said.

The county also announced Austin Rammell, the pastor of Venture Church in Dallas, will be helping to form a task force of religious leaders who will help in the county's efforts to combat the coronavirus.

Local charities, including the Community Relief Organization of Mount Holly, are still giving out food to families in need.

But following recommendations from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, CRO of Mount Holly is no longer allowing families to wait in its tight lobby.

Instead, Pastor Michael Carr said families check-in and receive their food outside of the building.

"Taking things one day at a time and even one hour at a time," Pastor Carr said. "Our volunteers are retirees, and so this virus and sickness have an issue with them so we want to keep them protected as much as possible."

Early Monday morning, David Rojas, along with Victor Torres, decided to hike Crowders Mountain instead of working out inside a gym.

"Too many germs and all that stuff," Rojas said. "Better to take a hike in the fresh air."

Gaston County Schools will start its summer feeding program Tuesday.

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