ILLINOIS, USA — Illinois Gov. JB Pritzker has announced that all Illinois public and private schools will be closed from March 17 to March 30 as a precaution against the spread of coronavirus.
Daycare centers will remain open and will follow strict health and safety guidance, according to a press release from the office of Gov. Pritzker.
State officials are working to continue supporting critical functions to keep them available for students across the state, including their access to food, child care and safe environments.
Schools will not be penalized because of this closure.
“All of these choices have cascading effects for citizens and vulnerable populations when it comes to food access, safety, childcare, and social services," said Gov. Pritzker. “We’ve seen what happens in places that didn’t move with urgency. I ask all of you not to hesitate to do the right thing for your family, your friends, and your community. One small step at a time, we will get through this together.”
“We have seen evidence from influenza outbreaks that community mitigation strategies, such a school closures, have an effect on decreasing the severity of the outbreak,” said IDPH Director Dr. Ngozi Ezike.
“By taking these actions now, we hope to slow and limit widespread transmission of this virus, which is essential to ensuring our health care system is not overwhelmed as the disease progresses through our state. School closures will help slow the progression of the virus and we are asking for everyone’s help in reducing the spread.”
The Illinois Department of Public Health has a statewide COVID-19 hotline and website to answer any questions from the public or to report a suspected case: call 1-800-889-3931 or visit IDPH.illinois.gov.