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Schools closed until May 15

North Carolina Governor closes hair/nail salons/massage therapy

NORTH CAROLINA—North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper announced Monday that all public schools will be closed until May 15. 

Cooper signed an executive order Monday to close schools until at least May 15 as well as to close hair and nail salons as well as massage therapists by Wednesday at 5 p.m. 

Cooper said there are 297 confirmed cases of Coronavirus in North Carolina as of Monday morning. He said at least 8,438 people have been tested in the state and at least 10,000 more tests need to be run. 

“I know that many parents have been expecting something like this,” Cooper said. “I know this is extremely difficult for you and your children.” 

He said he is committed to getting students as much education as he can this year and has tasked the state board of education to provide as much remote instruction as possible. He also said he is striving for school employees to work as safely as possible and for school employees to get paid at the same time. 

Cooper also thanked the public schools for what they have been doing to take care of students. He said more than 1,100 schools have served more than 1.2 million meals since schools have closed. Polk County Schools is doing pick up meals at all its elementary schools from 11-1 p.m. Monday-Friday. 

Cooper said school employees are still out there taking care of our communities like they did before the virus and thanked them for going above and beyond. 

Cooper’s executive order also bans mass gatherings of more than 50 people, which closes movie theaters, gyms and other facilities. The new order closes hair facilities, nail salons and massage therapists, with Cooper asking if they could close prior to Wednesday at 5 p.m. to please do so. 

Cooper said grocery stores and pharmacies will remain open and asked residents to please not overbuy. He also said some grocery stores are hiring temporary employees, including former restaurant employees who may be out of work. The dine-in restaurant order is still in place, but many restaurants are offering take out services. 

Cooper urged people to maintain social distancing and work from home when possible. 

“I know that these actions have caused hardship and heartache for a lot of people,” Cooper said. “But they are necessary.” 

There are still no confirmed cases in Polk County, with Henderson County having two confirmed cases as of Monday morning; Buncombe County having 4 confirmed cases and Transylvania County having 1 confirmed case. Spartanburg County, S.C. also has 1 confirmed case and 197 cases throughout the state of South Carolina.