Statement from Lt. Governor Forest:
"Today, the State Board of Education (SBE) adopted new guidelines for reopening schools that were brought forward by DHHS and the Cooper Administration. During this COVID19 special meeting of the SBE, board members received an update from DHHS on Gov. Cooper's revised guidelines for reopening schools. During the meeting I asked the same questions I asked last month, 'what metrics are we using, and what are the goals for opening schools back up?' I asked these questions because the public should know when it is safe for schools to open. DHHS officials commented that they are using White House guidelines to reopen schools, and we haven't hit the benchmarks from those guidelines yet. However, the guidance they are using seems to be out of date.
"Yesterday, the CDC issued updated guidance for reopening schools, recommending strongly schools reopen and that districts consider the level of community transmission when deciding to close in-person learning. The Surgeon General of the United States explained further on TV today that, 'we like to see positivity rates less than 10% in a community.' If this is true, then North Carolina should be in a place to reopen schools.
Statewide, using DHHS's rolling average, we are at 9% positive tests over this past month, and have only reached 10% positive tests a total of three times the last 30 days. Some counties are higher, some are much lower, and this is why a regional approach to reopening schools must take place rather than a one-size-fits-all model. If DHHS and the Cooper Administration are going to update their guidelines while claiming they are using federal guidelines, then they need to actually use the federal guidelines when they are updated."
- Contact: Jamey Falkenbury