Gov. Cooper says K-12 public schools can open for both in-person and remote learning; state will stay in Phase 2 of reopening for 3 more weeks

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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.

Feb. 26

School districts, health agencies taking steps to prepare against coronavirus in the Triad

March 3

First case of coronavirus identified in NC

March 4

School systems, public transit in the Triad keeping a close eye on coronavirus

March 10

Guilford County Schools asks children who have visited high-risk coronavirus areas to stay home for 2 weeks

March 11

Guilford County Schools prepares plans for possibility of coronavirus outbreak

Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools cancels field trips amid coronavirus concerns

All UNC System schools to transition from in-person instruction to a ‘system of alternative course delivery’ amid coronavirus concerns

March 12

Guilford County Schools cancels out-of-state trips after coronavirus declared a ‘pandemic’

Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools to limit school visitors after 2 coronavirus cases confirmed in Forsyth County

March 13

Guilford County Schools weighs closing, keeping 25% of kids in school

Surry County Schools extends spring break amid coronavirus outbreak

March 14

LIST: States that have closed all schools through the end of the school year due to coronavirus

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

Rockingham County Schools closed through Friday, April 10

Forsyth County Schools says cafeteria sites will be open for lunch, breakfast, meals will be delivered along bus routes during 2 week school closure

Guilford County Schools officials plan to deliver free, reduced-price lunches during 2-week closure for students who qualify; plans for online learning in the works

March 15

Piedmont parents and students react to extended school closures

WS/FCS provide more details for two week public school closure

March 16

Guilford County Schools buses delivering meals to homeless, most vulnerable students

Trump administration recommends schooling from home; no gatherings of more than 10 people; avoid bars, restaurants; says vaccine in clinical trials

March 20

Piedmont parents adjust to working from home, educating kids at same time

March 23

North Carolina schools grades K-12 closed for in-person instruction through May 15

April 6

Guilford County families find ways to de-stress as spring break begins

May 6

Forsyth County teacher delivers books to students to help them retain their reading skills

May 12

Winston-Salem/Forsyth County high schools to hold virtual graduation ceremonies, drive-by diploma pickup and picture sessions

May 15

Triad kids share what they miss most about their schools

May 19

Triad teachers take classes on virtual field trips during pandemic

May 23

Thomasville High School student tests positive for COVID-19 after going to graduation event

June 23

Local colleges prepare for students to return to campus

June 30

Guilford County Schools officials planning August reopening

Gov. Cooper will not make announcement on plans for schools reopening at Wednesday news conference

July 7

Guilford County Schools gets approval for 2 new virtual schools amid pandemic

Guilford County Schools offers virtual learning, some parents share relief

President Trump pushes state, local leaders to reopen schools in fall

July 13

Gov. Cooper to make announcement on K-12 public schools Tuesday

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