Local K-12 schools remain open for now

Published 6:21 pm Friday, March 13, 2020

RALEIGH – With 15 positive cases reported as of Friday morning, Governor Roy Cooper said the state is taking proactive steps to protect the health and wellbeing of its citizens against coronavirus COVID-19.

One new recommendation is to cancel or postpone gatherings involving over 100 people and telework if possible.

As of Friday, public K-12 schools remain open in the state with no recommendation to close this at this time.

However, the state is recommending that public schools and childcare centers cancel or reduce large events and gatherings (e.g., assemblies) and field trips, limit inter-school interactions, and consider distance or e-learning in some settings. Students at high risk should implement individual plans for distance or e-learning.

School dismissals may be necessary when staff or student absenteeism impacts the ability to remain open. Short-term closures may also be necessary to facilitate public health investigation and/or cleaning if a case is diagnosed in a student or staff member.

Brunet Parker with Hertford County Public Schools told the RC News-Herald on Friday that HCPS administrative staff will meet at 8:30 am on Monday in Winton to discuss the immediate future of the school district.

The North Carolina Department of Health & Human Services (NC DHHS) is making the following recommendations for all North Carolinians to reduce the spread of infection. NC DHHS is making these recommendations for the next 30 days and will re-assess at that point.

High risk persons without symptoms

These individuals should stay at home to the extent possible to decrease the chance of infection. People at high risk are those over age 65 or with underlying health conditions including heart disease, lung disease, or diabetes, or with weakened immune systems.

All facilities that serve as residential establishments for high risk persons described above should restrict visitors. Exceptions should include end of life care or other emergent situations determined by the facility to necessitate a visit. If visitation is allowed, the visitor should be screened and restricted if they have a respiratory illness or potential exposure to COVID-19. Facilities are encouraged to implement social distancing measures and perform temperature and respiratory symptom screening of residents and staff. These establishments include settings such as nursing homes, independent and assisted living facilities, correction facilities, and facilities that care for medically vulnerable children.

Workplace

It’s recommended that employers and employees use teleworking technologies to the greatest extent possible, stagger work schedules, and consider canceling non-essential travel. Workplaces should hold larger meetings virtually, to the extent possible. Additionally, employers should arrange the workspace to optimize distance between employees, ideally at least six feet apart. Employers should urge high risk employees to stay home and urge employees to stay home when they are sick and maximize flexibility in sick leave benefits.

Social events

Organizers of events that draw more than 100 people should cancel, postpone, modify these events or offer online streaming services. These events include large gatherings where people are in close contact (less than 6 feet), for example concerts, conferences, sporting events, faith-based events and other large gatherings.

Mass transit

Mass transit operators should maximize opportunities for cleaning and disinfection of frequently touched surfaces. People should avoid using use mass transit (e.g. buses, trains) while sick.

For more information, please visit the CDC’s website at www.cdc.gov/coronavirus and NCDHHS’ website at www.ncdhhs.gov/coronavirus, which will also include future positive COVID-19 test results in North Carolina.

Going forward, the Department of Health and Human Services will update the count of positive test results daily on online at dhhs.nc/coronavirus.