Update: At a 4:30 press conference, Governor Roy Cooper announced all North Carolina schools will be closed for two weeks starting Monday, March 16.
Thank you, Governor Cooper.
In an effort to control the exponential spread of a virus that has now killed more than 5,000 people worldwide, leaders of 14 states and Washington DC have shuttered all K-12 schools.
North Carolina is not among them.
The NC Department of Health and Human Services made two seemingly contradictory recommendations on Friday:
1. Those who go to work should keep a minimum distance of six feet between themselves and others.
For most educators who work in classrooms crammed full of upwards of 40 students or supervise cafeterias filled with thousands of children at a time, this reckless approach makes very little sense.
New research shows that carriers of the virus that causes COVID-19 are most contagious before they exhibit symptoms and in the first week of the disease. We have no way of knowing who is spreading the virus and who isn’t.
Closing schools is a logistical nightmare which will have a disproportionately negative impact on those who can afford it least. But our number one concern has to be for the health of our children.
It’s time for Governor Cooper to act.
You can track school closures nationwide using this map tool at EducationWeek.
States where all K-12 schools have been closed as of Saturday 3/14 morning include:
Kentucky (not currently mandatory but closures are widespread)