Governor Roy Cooper yesterday announced that after several weeks of stable COVID-19 trends and continued low virus spread in school settings, North Carolina public school districts and charter schools can choose to implement Plan A for elementary schools (grades K-5) starting Oct. 5.

Plan A continues to include important safety measures like face coverings for all students, teachers and staff, and symptom screening. But schools will not be required to reduce the number of children in the classroom to meet social distancing of 6 feet.

As the Governor announced in July, every district will continue to have flexibility to select Plan A, B or C based on their unique needs. In addition, districts should still provide an option for families to select all remote learning for their students. Read the Strong Schools NC Public Health Toolkit to learn more about the requirements under each plan.

Dr. Mandy Cohen, Secretary of the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services shared an update on North Carolina’s data trends. Dr. Cohen explained that North Carolina has seen a sustained leveling or decrease of key metrics.

“Our trends show that we are on the right track. It’s up to all of us to protect our progress. Our individual actions like those 3 Ws will help keep our school doors open,” said Secretary Cohen.

Secretary Cohen also explained that as schools have opened, the current science shows that younger children are less likely to become infected, have symptoms, experience severe disease or spread the virus.

Find all public health guidance for K-12 schools here.