North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper announced today in a COVID-19 briefing that all K-12 schools will be open for both remote and in-person learning for the upcoming fall semester. 

Henderson County Public Schools switched the remote learning starting March 16, but as COVID-19 case numbers continued to rise, the closure stretched from its original two weeks to the rest of the school year. As of today, there are over 89,000 confirmed COVID-19 cases in North Carolina, and the numbers are still increasing. 

School districts are to make the decision between both remote and in-person learning or full time remote learning based on works best for the district. If the district allows in-person learning, there are many rules and restrictions that they will be required to follow. 

“Schools will look a lot different this year in order to be safe and effective,” Cooper said in a Twitter post. “Public health experts and school leaders developed these rules to protect students, teachers and families.” 

All students and staff are required to wear face coverings, and the state will provide five face coverings for each student and staff member in each school. The school must limit the amount of people in the building and stay six feet apart at all times. Temperature checks and screenings and the isolation of students with COVID-19 symptoms will also be required. Schools must allow time for frequent handwashing in the schedule and limit the presence of nonessential visitors and the sharing of personal items.

“There are no decisions more important than the ones about our children and our schools,” Cooper said in a Twitter post. “This announcement is the result of careful, collaborative and painstaking work. As with many choices during this pandemic, we are working with the best information and science we have today.” 

Henderson County Public Schools has not released their plan for HCPS students to return to school, but the Board of Public Education and district officials will hold a meeting on Monday, July 20 discussing the plan, and details will be available shortly afterward. Be sure to check their website and social media for updates.

By: Emily Chambliss, Editor-in-Chief

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