Gov. Roy Cooper orders NC schools to close for at least 2 weeks

Updated: Mar. 14, 2020 at 4:31 PM EDT
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RALEIGH, N.C. (WBTV) - North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper has ordered public K-12 schools in the state to close for at least two weeks.

His announcement in a Saturday press conference came hours after it was revealed a Wake County elementary school teacher tested positive for COVID-19, forcing schools in that district to close for at least two weeks.

This will begin Monday, and last at least through March 30. School buildings will be open as a teacher workday Monday to allow staff and students to retrieve personal items and resources.

RELATED: Gov. Cooper issues executive order to stop mass gatherings in NC

“Our lives have been turned upside down by this pandemic,” Cooper said. “But we will get through this. Hindsight is 20/20. I don’t want any regrets in our rearview mirror when this pandemic stops.”

RELATED: Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools among schools off 2 weeks due to coronavirus fears

CMS sent out an emergency alert following the speech.

“Given the Governor’s decision, the CMS Board of Education plans to schedule a meeting to vote to return to the original school calendar," the school system said. “The coronavirus crisis is an unprecedented community health concern. CMS executive leaders, in partnership with local and state officials, are developing plans to address these exceptional circumstances.

"These plans include feeding students and continuing learning using a virtual platform. We understand that families and staff will be affected by this decision and we appreciate your patience and flexibility as we work to navigate the closure of schools.

"In the coming days, parents will receive information about opportunities for students to continue learning. As decisions are made, information will be shared through our normal communication channels.

"We will continue to provide updates to questions families and staff will likely have. Many responses will depend on decisions at the state level. Thank you in advance for your understanding and patience. We will communicate more details as they become available.”

Cooper also issued an executive order banning mass gatherings of more than 100 people.

At least 23 people across the state have tested positive for coronavirus.

Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools announced Friday it had planned to begin spring break early this Thursday.

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