State news

RALEIGH (AP) — North Carolina's education board agreed Monday to seek an exception to federal K-12 testing and accountability requirements this year as public schools entered another week being shuttered in response to the new coronavirus.

The State Board of Education voted unanimously to request a waiver. President Donald Trump's administration announced last week states could seek to cancel the federally mandated school testing.

Board Chairman Eric Davis also said he was talking with state legislative leaders about how to eliminate public school accountability mandates specific to North Carolina. The legislature convenes in late April.

State health officials counted as of Monday morning nearly 300 positive COVID-19 cases, an increase of more than 40 compared to Sunday. No deaths have been reported. Mecklenburg, Wake and Durham cases are more than half of the total.

For most people, the coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms. But for older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness, including pneumonia.

Sunrise of Raleigh, an assisted-living center, announced COVID-19 has been found there but provided no further details in a news release. A case was reported at a senior living community in Cary last week.

Gov. Roy Cooper ordered schools be closed starting March 16 for at least two weeks.

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