SMITHFIELD, N.C. (WNCN) – Johnston County Public Schools officials voted Tuesday for students to revert back to online education as COVID-19 cases surge in North Carolina and across the country.
Johnston County schools will move back to “Plan C,” which calls for entirely online learning, beginning Monday. It will last at least through Jan. 15 for elementary students and Jan. 19 for sixth through 12th grades.
“We all agree it’s best to be in school,” board chairman Todd Sutton said. “But based upon data and everything else we’re seeing — and a lot of us have received a lot of emails about safety and concerns for students and staff.”
The board voted 5-2 in favor of the move.
Earlier Tuesday, Gov. Roy Cooper announced a curfew mandate that, beginning Friday, requires people to remain at home from 10 p.m. until 5 a.m.
Johnston County was one of 48 counties in North Carolina labeled “critical” in the recent update to the Department of Health and Human Services’ county alert system. The county had 528.8 COVID-19 cases per 100,000 people and a positivity rate of 10.9 percent, according to the data.
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