North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper said in a Friday press conference that all K-12 schools in the state will continue remote learning for the remainder of the school year.
According to Cooper, the state board and Department of Public Instruction will plan for an intensive learning program for students who require it, and measures will be put in place to allow safe opening of schools in the new school year.
"Classrooms may be closed but the learning is not over," Cooper said. "We don’t make this decision lightly, but it’s important to protect the health and safety of our students and our school staff."
To help students without home internet access online learning opportunities, Cooper announced a partnership to equip more school buses with Wi-Fi. School buses with Wi-Fi will travel to areas that lack internet so students can turn in assignments, download materials, and connect with teachers.
AT&T is providing 100 hot spots, Duke Energy Foundation is providing 80 and additional partners are expected to join the effort.
As of Friday, there are now 8,052 cases, 477 people hospitalized and 269 coronavirus related deaths in North Carolina, with confirmed cases in 93 of the state's counties.
Thursday, Cooper's administration extended the state's stay-at-home order through May 8. The administration also released a three-phase plan for reopening the state.