Coronavirus (COVID-19) Updates

The lead agencies for coronavirus (COVID-19) information are the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services (NCDHHS), and Catawba County Public Health.  Please visit their websites for basic information, guidelines, and recommendations.


Catawba County
Public Health
  North Carolina Department of Health
and Human Services (NCDHHS)
   Centers for Disease Control
and Prevention (CDC)
   COVID-19 Business

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March 23: For the safety of all customers and City staff, effective March 24, Hickory utility customers are asked to only utilize the drive thru at City Hall for making regular utility payments.  The drive thru will operate on expanded hours from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday.  Customers may pay by cash, check, or money order at the drive thru window, or submit payments through the 24-hour drop box at the drive thru.  As always, Hickory utility customers may also submit payments online at  The Collections Division on the second floor of City Hall remains open for regular services; however, no utility payments will be accepted at the counter in City Hall.




March 25: Until further notice, the lobby of Hickory Police Headquarters will be closed to visitors.  Public copies of police and accident reports can be obtained free of charge by visiting or by calling (828) 324-2060 and providing an email address.  Parking Tickets can be paid online at, by placing payments in the City of Hickory Collections drop box or by mailing them to Hickory Police Headquarters – 347 2nd Ave SW, Hickory, NC 28602.  The Magistrate’s office will continue to operate normally at this time.  Hickory Police will have a desk officer on duty throughout all shifts to answer questions and take information and reports by phone when appropriate.




March 19: Hickory Fire Department personnel will share fire prevention tips, behind-the-scenes demonstrations of firefighting equipment, book readings, and available online resources for families through its Facebook page.




March 19: Starting Monday, March 23, Hickory Public Library will offer “Library To-Go” pickup service for library books, music, and movies between the hours of 10 a.m. and 4 p.m., Monday through Friday, at Patrick Beaver Memorial Library.  Patrons may request holds on materials through their online library accounts and over the phone by dialing (828) 304-0500.  Items will be packed and ready to pick up by 10 a.m. the following day.  In addition to the new Library To-Go service, Hickory librarians will be filming short story times to post to the library’s Facebook page, Hickory Public Library.  As always, library patrons can also access a wide range of digital resources, including e-books, audiobooks, music, and movies.  Borrowing limits for Hoopla, Kanopy, and the North Carolina Digital Library will be increased while the library is closed.  Those without a Hickory Public Library card can set up a free temporary account online that will allow access to all online resources.  Once the library reopens, patrons can come in and sign up for a full library card.  Library staff is available to answer any questions regarding digital resources, library accounts, and Library To-Go requests by phone from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday.

March 17: The City of Hickory closed both branches of the Hickory Public Library at 1 p.m.  All Hickory libraries will remain closed until further notice.  Due dates for checked out library materials will be extended.  Hickory Public Library does not charge overdue fines for late materials.  Patrons may return checked out library materials to the outside drop boxes at Patrick Beaver Memorial Library and Ridgeview Branch Library.

March 13: The City of Hickory suspended all Hickory Public Library and Parks, Recreation & Sports Tourism classes, events, and programs that are City-run through the end of March.  



Parks, Recreation and Sports Tourism

March 19: To keep families active and entertained while practicing social distancing, the City’s Parks, Recreation & Sports Tourism staff will provide online workout classes for the public via social media.  The classes may include outdoor activities like spin, yoga, and functional training.  Other videos will showcase Hickory’s beautiful park system, educational programs, and demonstrations of kid-friendly games that can be played at home with minimal supplies or equipment.  Follow the City of Hickory Parks, Recreation & Sports Tourism Facebook page for more details on classes and fun activities.

March 17: The City of Hickory closed Highland Recreation Center and Ridgeview Recreation Center at 1 p.m. All Hickory recreation centers will remain closed until further notice.

March 16: The City of Hickory closed Brown Penn Recreation Center, Westmont Recreation Center, Neill Clark Recreation Center, Westmont Senior Center, and Brown Penn Senior Center, as well as the gymnasiums at Highland and Ridgeview Recreation Centers.

March 14: The City of Hickory postponed its March 17 ribbon cutting for the new artificial turf field at Henry Fork River Regional Recreation Park.  The event will be rescheduled for a future date.  

March 13: The City of Hickory suspended all Hickory Public Library and Parks, Recreation & Sports Tourism classes, events, and programs that are City-run through the end of March.  



Public Services

March 20: Did you know that 60 percent of all sanitary sewer overflows are related to customers flushing items that should not be flushed?  In order to protect the City’s sewer system, citizens are reminded that toilet paper should be the only product flushed down toilets. Any paper product other than toilet paper does not break down or degrade as it travels through the sewer system. This includes paper towels, tissues, napkins, and “flushable” wipes.  These materials continue to stay in their current forms, collecting grease, hair, and other debris until creating a mass and clogging the sewer system. This could be on the City’s main line or in the customer’s home plumbing.  The City of Hickory thanks residents in advance for being mindful of these issues and working together to prevent undue burdens on the sewer system and Public Utilities staff during these already difficult times.  If you have any question about what can be put into the sewer system, please call Public Utilities at (828) 323-7427.

March 17: Due to the unexpected increase in people being home because of the coronavirus (COVID-19), the City of Hickory Solid Waste Division is anticipating an increase in the amount of yard waste and junk collection.  While we understand that this may be the perfect time to clean yards and debris, this could put a strain on the City’s collection schedule.  Your patience during this time will be greatly appreciated.  Updates will continue as necessary.




City of Hickory

March 20: Hickory Mayor Hank Guess released a video message regarding COVID-19.  View the video.

March 18: Boards and commissions meetings suspended until further notice.  The two exceptions will be Hickory City Council meetings and Hickory Regional Planning Commission meetings, since these are statutory boards.  Special precautions will be taken to safeguard people at these meetings.

March 16: All gatherings in City facilities and on City property must be limited to under 50 people. 


Catawba County

March 27: Catawba County reported one new case of COVID-19.  Learn more.

March 26: Catawba County reported five new cases of COVID-19.  Learn more.

March 23: Catawba County reported three new cases of COVID-19.  Learn more.

March 20: Catawba County reported its first positive case of COVID-19. Learn more.

March 18: Catawba County Board Chair Randy Isenhower declared a State of Emergency in Catawba County at 8:00 a.m. March 18, 2020, due to the rapidly evolving COVID-19 pandemic.  The declaration covers the entire area of Catawba County and was made by and with the consent of all municipalities within Catawba County.  The declaration enables Catawba County to implement coordinated countywide response efforts in alignment with the Catawba County Emergency Operations Plan, municipal plans, and other relevant plans in collaboration with municipalities, community organizations and emergency response partners.


North Carolina

March 27: Governor Roy Cooper issued an Executive Order, announcing a statewide Stay-at-Home Order beginning Monday, March 30, at 5 p.m. until April 29, 2020.  The Executive 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.  Read the press release and the FAQs.

March 25: The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services is reporting the first COVID-19 associated deaths.  Learn more.

March 23: Governor Roy Cooper signed an Executive Order expanding the list of public places he was ordering closed, lowering the limit for the number of people at public gatherings to 50, and extending the closing of K-12 public schools through May 15.

March 20: Governor Roy Cooper issued an Executive Order facilitating critical motor vehicle operations and delegating authority to the secretary of the department of health and human services to waive regulations in order to expand access to child care and support local health departments.

March 19: The U.S. Small Business Administration granted Governor Roy Cooper’s request for a disaster declaration for small businesses that are suffering economic losses due to COVID-19.  Learn more.

March 17: Governor Roy Cooper issued an Executive Order mandating that North Carolina restaurants and bars will be closed to sit-down service and limited to take-out or delivery orders starting at 5 p.m., March 17.  Grocery stores, gas stations, and convenience stores are exempt from this order and will remain open, though they may not serve sit-down food.  Additionally, the order lifts some restrictions on unemployment benefits and adds benefit eligibility for those out of work because they have the virus or must care for someone who is sick.  Learn more.

March 14: Governor Roy Cooper issued an Executive Order to close K-12 public schools statewide for at least two weeks beginning Monday, March 16. The Order also prohibits gatherings of more than 100 people.  Learn more.




Online Resources


Support Local

Please continue supporting local small businesses by shopping online and ordering food for delivery and takeout.  Check out these online sites and groups for updates from local restaurants and small businesses:


Business Assistance

  • Small business owners in all U.S. states and territories are currently eligible to apply for a low-interest loan due to Coronavirus (COVID-19).  Learn more.
  • The Golden LEAF Foundation announced $15 million in funding to launch a rapid recovery loan program in response to economic losses related to Coronavirus (COVID-19).  Golden LEAF funding will support the NC COVID-19 Rapid Recovery Loan Program by enabling loans to be made to eligible businesses for up to $50,000 with zero interest and no payments for six months.  Learn more.


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