CHICAGO — Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker announced schools will remain closed for the rest of the school year.
He made the announcement at the beginning of his daily briefing on Friday.
Although in-person learning will not resume, remote learning will continue for all pre-K through 12th grade students.
“I’ve said time and time again, our decisions must follow the science and the science says our students can’t go back to their normal routine this school year,” said Gov. Pritzker. “Over the last month, Illinois’ schools have stepped up and faced the many challenges of COVID-19 with generosity, creativity and a resolute focus on caring for students, parents and communities. I am confident that our schools will manage and expand the learning opportunities for all our children who will be working from home over the coming weeks.”
Illinois will receive $569 million in federal funding for pre-K through 12th grade schools as part of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act.
The funding will help equip students with technology and internet access to enhance remote learning, support teachers and assist schools in providing meals for students, according to a news release.
Each public school district will receive CARES Act funding proportional to the number of low-income students they serve.
During his briefing, the governor also addressed high school seniors who will miss proms and graduations.
"There's room for you to feel all those things big and small. You will get through this, too. You will talk about this for the rest of you lives and you will go on to do amazing things," he said.
Cases in Illinois:
On April 17, the Illinois Department of Health announced 1,842 new cases and 62 new deaths, bringing the totals to 27,575 cases and 1,134 deaths.
Patients have ranged in age from younger than 1 to 99 years old, the Illinois Department of Public Health said.
Most of the cases and deaths have been in the Chicago area.
IDPH said the number of COVID-19 cases being reported is rising quickly partly because testing is becoming easier, but also because the virus is spreading across communities.
On March 31, Gov. Pritzker extended the stay-at-home order for Illinois through the end of April.
On April 2, the state launched a new statewide initiative called “All in Illinois” to reinforce the state’s message during the coronavirus pandemic: stay home and stay safe.
As Illinois residents practice social distancing, the initiative is a way to “unite residents across the state and remind them we are all in this together.”
The state has issued a disaster proclamation. Gov. Pritzker called the proclamation an "operational procedure" that opens up Illinois to receive more state and federal resources and tools in how it handles coronavirus cases. The proclamation also would allow Illinois to be eligible to receive federal reimbursement.
On March 25, Gov. Pritzker announced the state would delay its tax filing date to July 15, which is the same date the federal tax deadline was moved to. He also announced two new loan programs for small businesses.
He also announced a new initiative, Illinois COVID-19 Response Fund, that will support nonprofits across the state. Gov. Pritzker said about $23 million has been raised for the fund so far. If you’d like to donate to the fund, click here.
On March 27, Gov. Pritzker announced more than 500 former medical professionals have submitted applications to come back to work to support the state’s coronavirus response.