North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper issued an executive order Monday closing public schools until May 15, with a tentative plan to reopen May 18. The executive order also put further restrictions on businesses, shutting down many types of recreation and personal grooming-based businesses across the state. It also banned people from visiting nursing homes and assisted living facilities.
State leaders are in talks to make sure that teachers and school staff receive their pay while schools are closed, Cooper said in the press conference live streamed from Raleigh Monday afternoon.
“We would like all of the school employees to get paid during the duration. That is what I have asked the superintendent and state board to come forward with, is a plan to do that,” Cooper said.
Teachers and non-certified staff are still working remotely at this time. In Hoke County, teachers are using online resources, Chromebooks and iPads to communicate with students and educate them at home. Hoke Schools are also delivering meals to bus stops to help feed children.
Officials are working on plans to eliminate mandated testing, waive the missed school days and make sure the Class of 2020 can still graduate, Cooper said.
The state also plans to provide assistance for people affected by the COVID-19 response. There have been over 110,000 applications for unemployment insurance benefits in the last week compared to the usual 3,000 a week, the governor said, most likely related to the order to close restaurant and bar dining rooms.
“A lot of families are taking it on the chin,” Cooper said.
The governor additionally ordered many recreational businesses to close by 5 p.m. Wednesday, March 25. The businesses affected by the closure include bingo parlors, bowling alleys, gyms and fitness clubs like yoga studios and martial arts facilities, live performance venues, movie theaters, spas, video game arcades, sweepstakes lounges and roller skating rinks. Personal care and grooming businesses such as hair salons, nail salons, massage parlors, tattoo parlors and barber shops were also ordered to shut down.
The executive order additionally banned visitors from inside nursing homes and assisted living facilities.
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