CAMDEN, NJ — The Camden Charter School Network, which operates four schools in East Camden, will end classes early Friday as it prepares its response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) and the potential of moving classes online. 

At least one person in the state has died from the novel coronavirus, the governor declared a state of emergency this week, and Rutgers announced it would cancel in-person classes Tuesday.

Camden County also had its first case, which is said to be improving. 

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Joe Conway, co-founder of Camden's Promise Charter School, told TAPinto Camden that staff will be paid fully Friday as the school prepares, "for a virtual program should closure occur.”  

“We will be convening with the city at the end of this week to coordinate response,” he said.

Officials from the charter school said that a roundtable of superintendents was convened and has kept in constant contact regarding the potential of closing schools to limit the threat to students. 

The network operates Camden’s Promise Charter School, Camden Academy Charter High School, Camden’s Pride Charter School, and KATZ Dalsey Academy Charter School. 

In a video Conway created to keep those in its network updated on the situation, he said “This is a concern that is obviously on everybody’s mind. Social media and a news cycle [that is] 24/7... is causing a level of hysteria, as well as misinformation, that’s going out."

He continued in a letter that the schools have taken necessary precautions pertaining to the virus — adding that further guidance would be shared once it becomes available. 

“Our schools have multiple policies and procedures regarding communicable diseases and how to proceed if posed with particular cases. In addition, we continue to follow the Center for Disease Control and NJ Department of Health recommendations for reducing the spread of a communicable disease like COVID-19,” reads an excerpt from the letter to parents and staff.

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