North Carolina public schools now able to implement Plan A for elementary schools

North Carolina

RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCT) — Governor Roy Cooper announced that beginning on October 5, North Carolina public school districts and charter schools can choose to implement Plan A for elementary schools (grades K-5).

Plan A continues to include important safety measures like face coverings for all students, teachers and staff, social distancing, and symptom screening, but does not require schools to reduce the number of children in the classroom. 

“We are able to open this option because most North Carolinians have doubled down on our safety and prevention measures and stabilized our numbers,” said Governor Roy Cooper. “North Carolinians are doing the hard work to improve our numbers and trends. Many people are wearing masks, keeping social distance and being careful to protect others as well as themselves. We have shown that listening to the science works. And I’m proud of our resolve.”

As the Governor announced in July, every district will continue to have flexibility to select Plan A, B or C based on their unique needs.

In addition, districts should still provide an option for families to select all remote learning for their students.

Read the Strong Schools NC Public Health Toolkit to learn more about the requirements under each plan. 

Dr. Mandy Cohen, Secretary of the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services shared an update on North Carolina’s data trends.

North Carolina reported 1,552 new COVID-19 cases and 31 new deaths on Thursday.

Cohen explained that North Carolina has seen a sustained leveling or decrease of key metrics. 

North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services data shows the state has seen a mostly downward trend over the last 14 days, with about a 25 percent decrease in new cases compared to two weeks ago. The percent of positive tests has also gone down, to about 5.6%, meaning the state is testing more and virus spread is slowing.

“Our trends show that we are on the right track. It’s up to all of us to protect our progress. Our individual actions like those 3 Ws will help keep our school doors open.,” said Secretary Cohen.

Dr. Cohen also explained that as schools have opened, the current science shows that younger children are less likely to become infected, have symptoms, experience severe disease or spread the virus. 

“It’s great news today that we are a step closer to providing the option of in-person learning to families who want their children to return to school,” said Superintendent of Public Instruction Mark Johnson. “While the Governor, the State Board of Education, and I have our differences, I join with them today to encourage local school board members to take advantage of this change and open all schools safely. I thank the many parents and teachers across North Carolina who have been vocal advocates on this important issue.”

“For the past 6 months, superintendents, principals, teachers and local BOE have worked diligently to care for the safety of our students and staff while educating our children. While we are anxious to return all students, we know that teachers, principals, and students need a gradual transition over the next 3 months. I ask our parents to remain patient, knowing that we are moving as quickly as is safely possible. And I ask our teachers to continue to assist our students by supporting this deliberate, thoughtful transition,” said  Eric Davis, Chairman of the State Board of Education.  

New deaths remain steady overall (about 27 per day), and elevated over numbers earlier in the pandemic.

Hospitalizations have gone down some, but there hasn’t been a significant decrease in numbers recently.

Here’s a look at cumulative numbers for WAVY’s viewing area:

  • Gates: 114 cases — 3 deaths (+4 cases)
  • Dare: 255 cases — 2 deaths (+5 cases)
  • Currituck: 141 cases (+4 cases)
  • Pasquotank: 639 cases — 29 deaths (+8 cases)
  • Perquimans: 167 cases — 3 deaths (+3 cases)
  • Bertie: 523 cases — 7 deaths (+2 cases)
  • Hertford: 658 cases — 25 deaths (+9 cases)
  • Chowan: 293 cases — 3 deaths (+7 cases)
  • Camden: 107 cases — 3 deaths

For more information from NCDHHS, click here.

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