RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCT) – Governor Roy Cooper announced in a press conference Saturday afternoon that all North Carolina schools will close for the next two weeks starting Monday, March 16th.
The closure happening in an effort to limit the spread of COVID-19.
“We do not have the luxury of a wait-and-see approach. These are hard decisions but they are necessary so we can learn more about the virus,” Governor Cooper said. “We do not want any regrets in the rearview mirror, and I am guided by one objective – doing what we must to keep people from getting sick and to make sure that those who do can get excellent care.”
Governor Cooper made the decision in consultation with State Board of Education Chair Eric Davis, State Superintendent of Public Instruction Mark Johnson, and North Carolina Health and Human Services Secretary Mandy Cohen.
Governor Cooper has appointed an Education and Nutrition Working Group to develop a plan to ensure that children and families are supported while schools are closed.
The working group will focus on issues including nutrition, health, childcare access for critical health care and other front-line workers and learning support for children at home.
“I am standing up this new working group to ensure that children have enough food to eat, families have care in safe places for their young children, and student learning continues,” Governor Cooper said.
In addition to closing schools, the Executive Order prohibits mass gatherings that bring together more than 100 people in a single room or space, such as an auditorium, stadium, arena, large conference room, meeting hall, theater, or other confined indoor or outdoor space, including parades, fairs and festivals.
Violations of the order are punishable as a Class 2 misdemeanor.
The ban on gatherings does not include airports, bus and train stations, medical facilities, libraries, shopping malls and spaces where people may be in transit. Office environments, restaurants, factories, or retail or grocery stores are also excluded.
Stay with WNCT for more.