All IL schools will close Tues, March 17 in order to prevent the spread of coronavirus.
Gov Pritzker and the IL Board of Education announced earlier today all IL schools will close temporarily from March 17-30. More than two million students will be out of school across IL during this two week period. This declaration applies to both public and private schools.
“To be clear, I understand the gravity of this action, and what it means for every community in our state,” Pritzker said, as reported by the Chicago Sun. “This is the right thing to do, to protect our students and their teachers, school workers and parents.”
Gov Pritzker assured that students who are eligible for free or reduced lunches that breakfast and lunch will still receive meals during this time, either through delivery or designated pick up. Dr. Carmen I. Ayala, the IL State Superintendent of Education, also said that at least one administrator would stay at schools for students whose parents cannot stay home with their children or for families experiencing homelessness.
Schools teachers, staff, and administrators will continue to be paid during the temporary closure which will count as a “Acts of God” or emergency days. Pritzker said he is also planning to expand unemployment benefits for those who must stay home from work with their children.
Overall, both the Gov and Superintendent of Education said they “would rather be criticized for doing too much,” than not taking enough action to stop the spread of the virus and protect IL residents.
Today another 14 cases of COVID-19 were identified in IL, all except one being in Cook County with the other being in Lake County. That brings the number of cases up to 46. Unfortunately, there is a shortage of tests for the virus in IL, which during the broadcast Gov Pritzker criticized the federal government for not sending more tests quickly enough.
You can read all coronavirus updates on the IL Department of Public Health’s website and all school closing updates on the IL Board of Education’s website. We will also be posting updates to this page and posting on social media as new developments arise.
Feature photo by Shutterstock.