NC Gov. Cooper to allow in-person learning for elementary students

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FILE – Gov. Roy Cooper listens to a question during a briefing at the Emergency Operations Center in Raleigh, N.C., Tuesday, July 14, 2020, amid the coronavirus pandemic. Cooper will discuss the pandemic, education and his re-election bid in an interview with The Associated Press on Thursday, Aug. 6. (Ethan Hyman/The News & Observer via AP, File)

RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) – Gov. Roy Cooper said students in kindergarten through fifth grade will be allowed to return to in-person learning in October.

The move is optional and dependent on individual school district’s approval.

Cooper called this a “careful step forward.”

Face coverings will be required but there will not be a reduction in the number of students in the classroom.

Elementary students can return to the classroom on Oct. 5.

Students in grades 6 through 12 must remain on the hybrid or all virtual plan.

In July, Cooper said public schools across the state could not fully return to in-person learning but could only enact a virtual/in-person learning schedule or all virtual.

Cooper made the announcement Thursday comes as the number of new lab-confirmed cases of COVID-19 across the state remains stable as well as a decrease in completed tests.

As of Thursday, North Carolina has 189,576 total lab-confirmed cases of the disease from 2.7 million completed tests.

A total of 894 people across the state are currently hospitalized in relation to the virus on Thursday.

The latest data from the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services shows a 5.6 percent positive rate. The lowest recent positive rate was 4.7 percent on Sept. 12.

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