Governor orders K-12 schools to close March 18 to 27

Gov. Tim Walz announced Sunday that all of Minnesota’s K-12 schools will close for eight school days starting Wednesday to try to slow the spread of COVID-19.

Walz and state Education Commissioner Mary Cathryn Ricker made the announcement Sunday morning in St. Paul.

“My top priority as governor is the safety of Minnesotans. As a former teacher, and father of two teenage kids, I’m especially focused on the safety of our children,” Walz said. “Closing schools is never an easy decision, but we need to make sure we have plans in place to educate and feed our kids regardless of what’s to come.”

The governor signed an executive order to close schools starting Wednesday, March 18 through Friday, March 27.

The closing will “accommodate planning between school staff, teachers, and administrators with guidance from the Minnesota Department of Education (MDE) and the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH),” the governor’s release said.

The executive order also requires schools to provide care for elementary-age children of health care professionals, first responders, and other emergency workers during previously planned school days.

This story is developing.

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