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Gaston County Reopening Playgrounds, Museum, Senior Center

GASTONIA, N.C. – As the state of North Carolina moves into Phase 2.5 Friday at 5 p.m., Gaston County announces it is opening the outdoor fitness pavilion at Dallas Park and all playgrounds at County parks.

The County, thanks to the hard work of its Parks and Recreation staff, kept its parks open and maintained throughout COVID-19. Today’s move allows for playground equipment to be used by the public once again.

In addition, the Gaston County Museum will reopen on Sept. 15, and will be open to the public on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. During the past several months, museum staff has been working to making the museum experience safe for visitors during COVID-19, along with preparing a brand-new exhibit.

“This has been a long-awaited moment for us and we are so excited to begin the opening process for our community,” Museum Director Jason Luker said. “We all long for some sense of normalcy, but reality still requires our diligent precautions. In time, museum visitations and general life experiences will return to the openness and camaraderie we once enjoyed, especially if we all do our part to deter this virus and protect our fellow citizens.”

Visitors to the museum will be required to wear masks, and the museum has placed signage that will help keep guests safely distanced, along with the use of timed reservations to limit the total number of guests inside the museum at any one time.

More information on reservations and new guidelines for enjoying the museum can be found at GastonCountyMuseum.org.

Also preparing for a reopening is Gaston County’s Senior Center. Though the GCSC has been conducted social-distanced classes outside and virtually during the past several weeks, it will re-open the indoor wellness room and restart classes by appointment only on Tuesday, September 8.

The facility will meet or exceed all requirements set out by the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services. The GCSC will take one-hour appointments for the wellness room and will close for a 15-minute cleaning between each appointment.

The classes currently meeting outside will be moved back indoors, but capped at a maximum of 20 people per class to allow for continued social distancing. An hour for deep cleaning will be the minimum standard between each class that meets indoors.

Those who wish to utilize the GCSC will have their temperatures checked before being allowed to enter the facility. Anyone with temperatures higher than 100.4 degrees will not be permitted to enter. Each person entering the building will also have to answer three questions as part of a health screening questionnaire – the same process used by County staff on a daily basis.

Masks will be mandatory for entry and exit of the building and for any time a person is not engaged in exercise.

“The GCSC has served senior participants community health, delivering evidence-based health programs and helped improved the health of vulnerable populations and those managing the life-altering effects of chronic disease,” said GCSC Administrator Ellen Fenters. “We believe serving this population is now more important than ever. For so many in our community, exercise therapy is a key to recovery, disease management and prevention.”

To make an appointment to use the wellness room, the computer room, library or to sign up for a class, call (704) 922-2170.

 

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