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The Roanoke Canal Trail Half-Marathon and 8K scheduled for March 21 has been postponed.

Roanoke Rapids Parks and Recreation Director John Simeon said this afternoon the race will be rescheduled for September 12.

Meanwhile, in a statement today the city said, “The city of Roanoke Rapids is taking extra precautions to plan and prepare for the possibility of community-level outbreak of COVID-19. The city administration is taking steps both internally and externally to do what we can to minimize the risk for everyone by assessing locations of non-critical group gatherings and events.” 

Effective at 5 p.m. today, the following list of Roanoke Rapids Department of Parks and Recreation facilities — including programs and special events — will be temporarily closed to the general public.

This includes the Roanoke Rapids Public Library, T. J. Davis Recreation Center, J. A. Chaloner Recreation Center, Jo Story Senior Center for Active Adults, The Aquatic Center, Roanoke Canal Museum, Kirkwood Adams Community Center and Lloyd Andrews City Meeting Hall — for programs held there only.

During the temporary closure to the general public, department employees and city staff will be following guidelines regarding coronavirus awareness and prevention provided by Halifax County Health Department and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. 

Until further notice, the city anticipates reopening the above-listed facilities for regular operating hours on Monday, March, 23.

For information and questions about specific facilities, programs, and events, please call the Parks & Recreation Department at 252-533-2847. 

Statement from school system

Roanoke Rapids Graded Schools Superintendent Dain Butler said in a statement this afternoon, the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services is not recommending school closures at this time because children have not been shown to be at high risk for serious cases of COVID-19. “Additionally, closing schools would put a strain on our workforce, including healthcare and emergency workers who are essential to the COVID-19 response.  As much as possible, children should be allowed to carry on with their education and normal activities.

As you are aware, we have canceled field trips and sports activities. We have also been proactive in our efforts by providing hand sanitizer stations in high traffic areas and encouraging proper hand hygiene.” 

Butler said the district is following CDC guidelines and will be reviewing updates daily to determine its best next steps in prevention efforts.

Children who have underlying health conditions, such as weakened immune systems, that put them at higher risk for severe COVID-19 illness and caregivers of children with underlying health conditions should consult with healthcare providers about whether their children should stay home.

For people who are sick:

Stay home when you are sick.

Do not go out in public when you are sick.

If you are ill in any way, call your doctor's office first before going in.

Do not go to the emergency room unless you are experiencing a medical emergency.

Emergency rooms need to be able to serve those with the most critical needs.

If you have symptoms like cough, fever, or other respiratory problems, stay home and self-isolate until you have contacted a healthcare professional.