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See the latest news and updates about COVID-19 and its impact on the Charlotte region, the Carolinas and beyond.

'ReOpen Gaston County' Protest To Take Place Saturday In Gastonia

reopen rally
Steve Harrison

A protest is planned in Gastonia on Saturday morning to support the reopening of Gaston County businesses. It’s one of a number of similar “reopen rallies” that have happened around the state.

The rally is scheduled to take place in front of Gastonia’s City Hall. The event was posted to the ReopenNC Facebook group, which has organized similar rallies in Raleigh.

Jon Hoyle is an administrator for the Facebook Group ReOpen Gaston County. In a statement to WFAE, Hoyle said he wants entrepreneurs to prosper and “have the same rights that large corporations have."

The Gaston County rally comes after commissioner Tracy Philbeck made headlines earlier this week when he announced Gaston County would support the reopening of businesses if they practiced social distancing. The announcement contradicted Gov. Roy Cooper’s stay-at-home order, which expires May 8.

The commissioner later acknowledged the governor’s order was still in effect.

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Michael Falero is a radio reporter, currently covering voting and the 2020 election. He previously covered environment and energy for WFAE. Before joining WFAE in 2019, Michael worked as a producer for a number of local news podcasts based in Charlotte and Boston. He's a graduate of the Transom Story Workshop intensive on Cape Cod and UNC Chapel Hill.