April 24, 2020

Need to know: COVID-19

For more, view all of EdNC’s COVID-19 coverage here.

Policy challenge: Reopening, continued

Yesterday, Gov. Cooper and NC DHHS Sec. Mandy Cohen announced a more concrete plan for lifting restrictions and reopening the economy. Similar to Pres. Trump’s plan released last week, Cooper’s plan has three phases. Before we get to any phases, however, the governor and Cohen will be looking to see a downward trajectory in the following metrics:

  1. COVID-like syndromic cases over 14 days
  2. Lab-confirmed cases over 14 days
  3. Positive tests as a percentage of total tests over 14 days
  4. Hospitalizations over 14 days

And an increase in these metrics related to testing and tracing capabilities:

  1. Tests completed per day
  2. Ability to conduct widespread tracing
  3. Supply of personal protective equipment

The following two slides from the press conference look at where North Carolina stands on these metrics and where we need to be.

Screen Shot 2020 04 24 at 1.47.57 PM

Screen Shot 2020 04 24 at 1.48.07 PM

Once the data shows a downward trajectory in these key metrics, the state can enter Phase 1 of Cooper’s plan.

Phase 1 includes:

  • Modified stay at home order to allow travel to any business that is allowed to be open, including clothing stores, sporting goods stores, bookshops, and others
  • Social distancing and enhanced cleaning and hygiene protocols at open businesses
  • Reopen parks
  • No gatherings of more than 10 people
  • Teleworking encouraged
  • Strict restrictions on nursing homes and other congregant care settings

Phase 2: Two to three weeks after Phase 1

  • Lift stay at home order
  • Limited opening of restaurants, fitness centers, personal care services with potential need to reduce capacity
  • Allow religious gatherings and at entertainment venues at reduced capacity
  • Increase number of people allowed at gatherings
  • Open playgrounds
  • Maintain strict restrictions on nursing homes and other congregant care settings

Phase 3: Four to six weeks after Phase 2

  • Lessen restrictions for vulnerable populations
  • Increase capacity at restaurants, bars, entertainment venues, religious gatherings
  • Increase number of people allowed at gatherings
  • Maintain strict restrictions on nursing homes and other congregant care settings

During the press conference to announce this plan, Cooper and Cohen stressed that this path may not be linear. If there are outbreaks, North Carolina may need to implement more restrictions.

Dropping Knowledge

For the past two weeks, we’ve been working with Public Impact to compile a database of how North Carolina K-12 districts are responding to COVID-19 school closures, modeled after this national database compiled and updated by the Center on Reinventing Public Education (CRPE). Yesterday, we published version 1.0 of the database.

To compile the database, we looked at district websites and social media. We also sent a survey to all 115 superintendents. The current database looks at 11 indicators, each falling into one of three categories: curriculum, instruction, and equity/access. This project is the start of what we intend to be a more robust database. Over the next month we will fill in the gaps and complete the database with additional indicators.

Take a look and give us your feedback on this first iteration. What do you think of the indicators? What are we missing? Please send suggestions, corrections, or ideas on how to improve this resource to me at [email protected].

In the News

A lot has happened this week in the North Carolina education world. Check out these articles, and make sure to read the featured article from EdNC’s CEO Mebane Rash.

  • Q&A: Food Supply Chain, Disrupted

    NC State News | 04/22/2020

  • Furloughing Employees During the COVID-19 Crisis

    UNC School of Government: Coates' Canons | 04/22/2020

  • House lawmakers move forward COVID-19 response bills

    North Carolina Health News | 04/24/2020

  • Bringing an Analytics Mindset to the Pandemic

    Harvard Business Review | 04/23/2020

  • What the FCC Should Do Now to Support America and Our Learners

    EdSurge | 04/22/2020

  • Cal State Fullerton Announces Plans For A Virtual Fall. Will Other Colleges Follow?

    NPR | 04/21/2020

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