All NC K-12 public schools closed for at least 2 weeks starting March 16, Governor Roy Cooper says

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Governor Roy Cooper issued an executive order Saturday afternoon, saying all NC schools will be closed Monday, March 16, and the closure will last at least two weeks.

The order also bans mass gatherings of more than 100 people.

There are at least 23 cases of COVID-19 in North Carolina, health officials said early Saturday.

That marks an increase of eight cases reported by the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services since Friday.

That figure does not include a case at Camp Lejeune.

Earlier this week, officials with Guilford County Schools said they are considering a hybrid method that would keep 25% of kids in school if they do need to close.

The 25% of students would be made up of kids of first responders, kids with no access to technology, kids who need extra help and kids of healthcare workers.

Superintendent of Schools for Guilford County Sharon Contreras said that GCS officials are preparing to close if they need to by making sure bus drivers and food service workers would not go without pay.

One reason for deciding not to close the schools right now is students who live in group homes and shelters will be at risk of losing support if the schools closed, officials say.

Contreras said census data shows that around 25% of students do not have internet access and only have readily available technology at home, so they would not be able to easily access an online learning platform.

“The students already behind are the ones who will be further behind not just in Guilford County but across the state and across the nation,” Contreras said.

That figure does not include a case at Camp Lejeune.

Across the U.S., a total of 1,694 cases have been reported with 41 deaths related to coronavirus.

The increase in North Carolina comes a day after President Donald Trump declared the outbreak a national emergency.

The N.C. State Laboratory of Public Health has completed 101 tests and currently has the capability to conduct 680 more.

Commercial testing is also beginning but numbers concerning those tests are not available.

COVID-19 timeline

  • March 10: Gov. Roy Cooper declares State of Emergency
  • March 11: World Health Organization declares COVID-19 a pandemic
  • March 13: President Trump declares National Emergency

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