Gaston County re-opens businesses, contradicts stay-at-home order

Xanayra Marin-Lopez, Reporter

Gaston County will re-open businesses at 5 p.m. after the Board of Commissioners Chair signed an ordinance. This contradicts Gov. Roy Cooper’s stay at home order for North Carolina.

The county has seen 137 confirmed cases and 3 deaths. As of April 28, only 19 cases are active.  

Cooper recently extended the stay-at-home order to May 8. At a press conference April 23, he said the state is on the right track to lift restrictions, but needs to see more consistent trends. According to NCDHHS, there are 9,948 total cases in North Carolina.

Mecklenburg County, only 22 miles from Gaston,  happens to be the county with the highest number of cases, confirming 1,567.

In a document by Gaston County, the Board cites religious liberty in Article I, Section 13, of the North Carolina Constitution, as to why they are allowing citizens to work. 

The document reads, “We understand that what the Board supports is not in lock step with the Governor’s executive order, but we support putting our citizens back to work and allowing them to worship corporately, both of which are their constitutional rights.” 

Per the Board chair, Chad Brown, business owners are allowed to re-open as they wish, but are not required to do so. According to the message to residents, businesses opening must, “follow all cleaning and disinfection requirements, and abide by all maximum capacity restrictions required by local and state authorities.”