Gov. Cooper extends school closure to May; orders businesses to close

North Carolina

RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCT) On Monday, Governor Roy Cooper limited group gatherings to 50 people and extended school closures statewide to May 15.

The order also closed some businesses that require close social interaction and limited visitors to long-term care centers.

The Executive Order is effective beginning Wednesday, March 25.

“Each and every choice we are making is intended to flatten the curve and provide our health care system the ability to treat the sickest patients in the coming months. This is what we need to do to slow the spread of this illness and protect the health and safety of North Carolinians,” Governor Cooper said.

Also on Monday, the Governor’s request for a major disaster declaration for North Carolina was received by FEMA.

This request included requested Individual Assistance, Crisis Counseling Program, Disaster Unemployment Assistance, Small Business Administration Disaster Assistance and more.

Monday’s announcement prioritized social distancing by lowering the threshold on large gatherings to ban crowds of more than 50 people.

To stay consistent with this number, it will require certain businesses to close, including:

  • Bingo Parlors, including Bingo sites operated by charitable organizations
  • Bowling Alleys
  • Indoor Exercise Facilities (e.g. gyms, yoga studios, martial arts facilities, indoor trampoline, and rock-climbing facilities)
  • Health Clubs
  • Indoor Pools
  • Live Performance Venues
  • Movie Theaters
  • Skating Rinks
  • Spas
  • Sweepstakes Lounges
  • Video game arcades
  • Barber Shops
  • Beauty Salons (including waxing and hair removal centers)
  • Hair Salons
  • Nail Salons/Manicure/Pedicure Providers
  • Massage Parlors
  • Tattoo Parlors

Grocery stores and restaurants providing takeout and delivery will remain open.

The May 15 school closure date is based on current guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

As the situation in North Carolina evolves, more may be needed.

Governor Cooper has asked the State Board to collaborate with the Department of Public Instruction and legislators to:

  • develop a plan to ensure access to quality education for students through the remainder of the school year.
  • provide students with remote learning while school buildings are closed.
  • ensure that all school employees – including janitors, bus drivers, teaching assistants and cafeteria workers — will work in safe environments and be paid.

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