Public schools closure extended to May 15

Published 2:20 pm Monday, March 23, 2020

Getting your Trinity Audio player ready...

RALEIGH – Gov. Roy Cooper has ordered more measures in an effort to slow down the spread of COVID-19.

On Monday, the governor issued an executive order that extends the closure of all public schools at least through May 15.

Effective immediately, Cooper also ordered that any public gathering of individuals be restricted to 50 or less.

“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,” Cooper said.

As part of the decision to extend the closure of public schools until at least mid-May, Cooper also asked the State Board of Education to collaborate with the Department of Public Instruction and legislators to develop a plan to ensure access to a 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 within safe environments and be paid.

Cooper’s executive order will also lead to the closure of numerous businesses statewide that normally attract a larger number of customers and/or where close contact is part of the services they offer. Effective at 5 p.m. on Wednesday, March 25, the following types of businesses are ordered to cease operation until further notice:

Bingo Parlors

Bowling Alleys

Ice Skating Rinks

Indoor Exercise Facilities (e.g. gyms, yoga studios, and martial arts facilities)

Health Clubs

Indoor Pools

Live Performance Venues

Movie Theaters

Roller Skating Rinks


Sweepstakes Lounges

Video game arcades

Personal care and grooming businesses, to include, barber shops, beauty salons, hair salons, manicure/pedicure providers, massage therapy, and tattoo parlors.

Grocery stores and restaurants providing takeout and delivery will remain open. Additionally, Governor Cooper reminded North Carolinians to show restraint in buying groceries and supplies.

“I know today’s orders cause hardship for a lot of people. I do not treat these decisions lightly,” added Cooper. “We have made them in the interest of health and safety.”

Gov. Cooper also imposed a ban on visitors, other than health care personnel and those providing end-of-life care, at long-term care facilities, nursing homes, mental health group homes, and at other facilities where services are offered for those with intellectual disabilities.

Also on Monday, the Governor’s request for a major disaster declaration for North Carolina was received by FEMA. This specifically requested Individual Assistance, Crisis Counseling Program, Disaster Unemployment Assistance, Small Business Administration Disaster Assistance and more.

Local school systems have no choice in following the governor’s orders.

In Hertford County, parents/guardians of school-age children can continue to use the “grab-and-go” drive-thru from 11 a.m. until 1 p.m. weekdays in front of Hertford County High School in Ahoskie and Hertford County Middle School in Murfreesboro. Those meals include lunch for that pick-up day and breakfast for the following morning.

Hertford County Public Schools (HCPS) is seeking information from parents/guardians as they review remote learning opportunities. An online survey using is at

HCPS has also designed a website to provide additional information and resources for students, parents, staff, and community members. Visit to view the information.

Using 16 of its school buses, meals are being served each weekday to children throughout Bertie County at 64 locations between the hours of 11 a.m. ands 1 p.m. Visit (Meal Delivery tab) for more information on this meal program.



About Cal Bryant

Cal Bryant, a 40-year veteran of the newspaper industry, serves as the Editor at Roanoke-Chowan Publications, publishers of the Roanoke-Chowan News-Herald, Gates County Index, and Front Porch Living magazine.

email author More by Cal