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News & Press: Updates for Members

NC DHHS On Schools Reopening

Wednesday, July 15, 2020   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Kay Castillo
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The following is an update from the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services:

Thank you for your ongoing partnership as we all do our part to minimize exposure and risk of COVID-19, especially as we work to ensure continued in-person education opportunities for North Carolina’s children.


On Tuesday, July 14, Governor Cooper issued a joint statement with the NC Department of Health and Human Services (NCDHHS), the NC State Board of Education (NCSBE) and the NC Department of Public Instruction (NCDPI), announcing that after months of careful work, the state is moving forward with implementing Plan B for reopening schools.


The requirements under Plan B have been updated, and are outlined in detail in the newest version of the StrongSchoolsNC Public Health Toolkit (K-12). All schools will start the year operating under Plan B health and safety requirements. However, schools will have flexibility in how they choose to implement the requirements to meet their needs, and it is expected that all schools will also offer full-time virtual instruction for higher-risk students, teachers and families opting into remote learning for themselves and their children.


Key updates to the StrongSchoolsNC Public Health Toolkit (K-12):

  • Plan B social distancing and density requirements now offer more flexibility for districts to limit the number of people inside school buildings to the extent needed to meet 6 feet social distancing requirements
  • Cloth face coverings are required for all students from Kindergarten through 12th Grade in school and on buses, and for all teachers, school staff, and adult visitors
  • How teachers and staff should interact with each other in the safest ways possible
  • Recommendations provided for physical education, music, and band
  • Remote learning options must be provided for students who are at high-risk for severe disease due to COVID-19, or whose family members are at high-risk


Other important updates:

  • Along with the toolkit, NCDHHS is releasing updated screening guide with detailed and easy-to-follow protocols for the next steps schools should take if a student, teacher, staff member, or adult visitor presents with COVID-19 symptoms, or who discloses exposure to COVID-19, or who shares they tested positive.
  • In addition to the two-month supply of PPE materials already sent out to every public school across the state and detailed in the updated Infection Control and PPE guidance, Governor Cooper announced the shipment of five cloth face coverings for every elementary, middle, and high school student across NC, and for every teacher and school staff member.


Know that this will be a learning process for all of us - students, teachers, families, school administrators, and public officials. We will stay flexible as we monitor the spread of COVID-19 in our state, review new evidence and guidance, and seek feedback from families, students, teachers and staff, and local communities.


Thank you for your partnership.



Click here to see the updated StrongSchoolsNC Public Health Toolkit (K-12)


Click here to view all public health guidance documents for K – 12 schools 


Download the social media toolkit (English | Spanish) including images and language for social media posts. Help share this important information with students and their families across North Carolina!


Please refer to the Frequently Asked Questions document (English | Spanish) for additional support.

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