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All Wisconsin K-12 schools to close beginning Thursday

All Wisconsin K-12 schools to close beginning Thursday

Updated: March 13, 2020 05:20 PM

Gov. Tony Evers has ordered the closure of all Wisconsin elementary, middle, and high schools beginning Thursday, March 19.

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An initial statement from the governor's office had said the closure would begin Wednesday. The office later clarified that the order does not actually take effect until 5 p.m. Wednesday, meaning classes will be in session Wednesday.

The closure will affect both public and private schools.  A news release from Evers' office said the anticipated reopening date is April 6, but may be changed pending further information.

Evers said the closure won't begin until Wednesday to give school districts ample time to make plans.  However, individual schools can choose to close earlier than Wednesday.

"Closing our schools is not a decision I made lightly, but keeping our kids, our educators, our families, and our communities safe is a top priority as we continue our work to respond to and prevent further spread of COVID-19 in Wisconsin," Evers said in a news release.

Evers' announcement came hours after the state Department of Health Services announced that the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in the state had doubled to 19 in one day.

The move comes a day after Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer closed all schools in her state, effective Monday.  Several other states have also closed schools.

Copyright 2020 WDIO-TV LLC, a Hubbard Broadcasting Company. All rights reserved

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