RALEIGH, N.C. — Gov. Roy Cooper on Tuesday gave an update concerning the next steps for K-12 public schools and the state amid the pandemic.
Cooper said schools will open for both in-person and remote learning, with key safety precautions to protect the health of our students, teachers, staff and families.
Cooper also said when the current executive order expires this Friday, July 17, North Carolina will continue to stay paused in Safer at Home Phase 2 for three weeks.
“This is the plan B that we asked schools to prepare,” Cooper said Tuesday.
Face coverings will be required for every teacher, staff and student from kindergarten through high school. The state will be providing at least five reusable face coverings for every student, teacher and staff member.
Symptom screenings, including temperature checks, will take place daily before children enter the school buildings.
Schools must create a way to isolate students who have symptoms and ensure they can get home safely, Cooper said. Schedules must allow time for frequent hand washing and schools will regularly clean classrooms, bathrooms, buses and equipment.
Districts can choose plan C – which requires all remote learning – if they determine that is best for those children, parents and teachers in that area.
“We know there will always be some risk with in-person learning and we are doing a lot to reduce that risk. But as pediatricians and other health experts tell us, there is much risk in not going back to in-person school,” Cooper said.
Cooper was originally supposed to make an announcement concerning reopening schools on July 1.
On staying in Phase 2, Cooper said, “Easing restrictions now to allow more high-transmission activities could cause a spike that would threaten our ability to open schools. The most important opening is that of our classroom doors.”
As of Tuesday, North Carolina has 89,484 lab-confirmed cases; 1,956 new cases reported today; 1,109 people in the hospital; and 1,552 people who have died.
Here is a timeline of selected FOX8 headlines tracking the history of coronavirus and North Carolina schools. This does not include all coronavirus coverage or all North Carolina schools coverage.