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NC Elementary Schools Will Be Allowed All In-Person Classes Starting Oct. 5th

Creative Commons / Michael Rivera
NC Elementary Schools could be allowed to return to all in-person learning by October 5th. School districts are authorized to make their own decisions.

Coronavirus metrics are going in the right direction in North Carolina.  That’s why, says Governor Roy Cooper, he’s allowing school districts to open elementary schools for in-person learning. 


The science seems to show that younger children, mainly under 10, are less likely to catch the virus, exhibit symptoms, suffer severe disease from the virus, and they’re less likely to pass it to others. 


Add that emerging data to the four metrics state officials use to shape their policy – and Governor Cooper says it’s time to allow some schools more in-person learning. 

"North Carolina Public School districts will be permitted to choose Option A for their elementary school students only in kindergarten through fifth grade...Option A continues to include  important safety measures—like required face coverings for all students, teachers, and staff, social distancing, and symptom screening.  But Plan A does not require schools to reduce the number of children in the classroom."

Each school district has the authority to make their own decisions, says Cooper, and they’ll be allowed to adopt Option A starting October 5th. 


Since virus trends vary around the state, and social distancing cannot be as stringent when all kids are allowed in class, Option A won’t be appropriate in every district.  Other preventive measures – which include symptom screening and mask requirements -- are not different from Option B. 


Governor Cooper also says he understands parents are eager to see their older kids in class – and playing sports. 

State officials say they hope to have more news on that front soon as coronavirus cases, deaths, and hospitalizations continue to decline in North Carolina. 




Rachel hosts and produces CoastLine, an award-winning hourlong conversation featuring artists, humanitarians, scholars, and innovators in North Carolina. The show airs Wednesdays at noon and Sundays at 2 pm on 91.3 FM WHQR Public Media. It's also available as a podcast; just search CoastLine WHQR. You can reach her at rachellh@whqr.org.