Durham Public Schools to close effective Monday as coronavirus spreads

RALEIGH, N.C. (WTVD) -- Durham Public Schools

Durham Public Schools has made the "difficult decision" to close for students effective Monday, March 16.

"This is an effort to protect our students, staff, and community, and to slow the spread of the virus," DPS said in a release.

More details are expected Friday.

Moore County Schools
Moore County Schools will suspend all extracurricular activities, school and district events beginning Saturday, March 14 through Monday, April 6.

Orange County Schools
In an effort to reduce the spread of COVID-19, Orange County Schools will close Monday, March 16 with plans to re-open on Monday, April 6.

Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools
Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools made the following changes:
  • Monday, March 16, Tuesday, March 17, and Wednesday, March 18 will now be optional teacher workdays. Students will not be in school on those days. The purpose of those workdays will be for staff to prepare for a prolonged period of extended learning.
  • Spring Break will begin Thursday, March 19 and run through Friday, March 27.
  • During the week of March 30 through April 3, students will be learning from home


Grace Christian School
The parents at a Raleigh private school suspected of having the novel coronavirus tested negative for COVID-19.

Grace Christian School closed both campuses Wednesday as a precaution when school leaders learned that the parents had been ordered to be quarantined due to the suspected COVID-19 case.

Both campuses were cleaned thoroughly and reopened Thursday as planned.

Thursday morning, Grace Christian School also announced that the quarantined parents tested negative for COVID-19.

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Grace was just one of a handfull of Raleigh-area school to close because of possible COVID-19 exposure.

Trinity Academy
On Tuesday, Trinity Academy of Raleigh closed after a parent tested positive for the novel coronavirus. Classes were to resume Wednesday. Thales Academy Raleigh said a parent tested positive for the virus, but classes continued as scheduled after the building was sanitized Tuesday night.

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Though classes are still in session, students at Ligon Magnet Middle School said their extracurricular trips had been canceled. According to parent Amy Kirkhum, 70 student musicians had hotel rooms booked in Indianapolis for a performance showcase.

Johnston County Schools
Johnston County Schools said Tuesday all field trips would be canceled for the remainder of the week.

Durham County Public Schools
Durham Public Schools said Thursday that it is canceling all in-state student field trips and all out-of-state travel for both students and employees. However, the schools will continue in-district field trips.

As of Thursday, DPS said, all events with an anticipated attendance of more than 200 people, including An Evening of Entertainment at Durham Performing Arts Center and Matilda at Hillside High School, have been canceled.

DPS said cleaning crews will ramp up the disinfection of schools and buses and continue to monitor students and staff.

Educators at Durham Nativity School said they are making plans for virtual classes if necessary.

Sandhills Schools
In Fayetteville, Mayor Mitch Colvin has contacted City Council to discuss possible cancellations or changes to major events like the Dogwood Festival and the Iron Mike Marathon.

In a statement Wednesday, Hoke County Schools said all out-of-district and out-of-state field trips have been canceled. All district events including the STEM competition, Special Olympics and High School Prom have been canceled until further notice as well.

Hoke County Schools said schools will remain open and events held on campus will continue.

Tuesday, Cumberland County Schools said the district canceled all out-of-state and out-of-district field trips. Cumberland County Schools will also remain open, leaders said.

Colleges and Universities
Duke University moved classes to an online platform on Tuesday and extended its spring break to March 22.

Elon University said undergraduate classes will be moved online for the two weeks following spring break.

North Carolina State University is extending its spring break by one week.

University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill said wherever possible, classes will move from in-person to online starting March 23. All university events and gatherings of more than 100 people will be canceled or postponed.

Wake Tech said they will suspend all on-campus courses to an online format from March 15 to April 5. The Transition period covers Spring Break and the two weeks following the break. Despite the cancellations, Wake Tech will be open with limited services.


State of Emergency
On Tuesday, state Governor Roy Cooper declared a State of Emergency. The state expects to discover more confirmed cases of the virus in the coming days. Cooper and the state's coronavirus task force will talk to the media at 2:45 p.m. today.

"While we do expect more cases, we can limit the number of people who get sick," Cooper said.

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On Monday, five Wake County residents tested positive for the virus. A Chatham County man tested positive for the novel coronavirus after visiting Italy. The state's first case of the novel coronavirus was from a man who traveled through Raleigh-Durham International Airport in February.
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