Gov. Pritzker orders all IL schools to close due to coronavirus

(NEWS3) — Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker announced all schools statewide will be set to close starting Tuesday due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Macomb School District Superintendent Dr. Patrick Twomey sent a letter to parents Thursday afternoon saying the district will not hold classes Monday, March 16 through March 30.

Teachers will work Monday to make plans to transition instruction from classrooms to alternate activities. Twomey said these days off will be called academic engagement days.

“All extracurricular practices and events are cancelled immediately including all non-school organizations that use district facilities,” Twomey said. “Macomb School District is working on a plan to provide meals to any student who may need them.”

Pritzker said all schools will close from March 17 to March 30 amid the growing concerns of the spread of COVID-19.

“All of these choices have cascading effects for citizens and vulnerable populations when it comes to food access, safety, childcare, and social services,” Pritzker said.

Pritzker said his administration is working to ensure critical support functions like food, child care and safe environments remain available to students.

On Thursday, Pritzker announced all public or private events that are estimated to have 250 or more people should be canceled or postponed until May 1.

At this point, the total number of COVID-19 cases in Illinois reached 46, according to the CDC.

No deaths have occurred in Illinois linked to the coronavirus at this time.

President Donald Trump declared the coronavirus pandemic a national emergency Friday.