Ohio Schools Closing for 3 Weeks Over Coronavirus, Says Governor

March 12, 2020 Updated: March 12, 2020
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Ohio Governor Mike DeWine has announced that Ohio public and private schools are closed down for three weeks, starting Monday until at least April 3 over concerns about the spread of the new coronavirus, which causes a disease called COVID-19.

The move will go into effect after class on Monday, March 16, said the governor. During the three weeks, each school will have to make a decision on whether to practice online or remote teaching, he said during a press conference.

“We have today again consulted with experts, so we are announcing today that children in the state will have an extended spring break of 3 weeks. We will review it afterwards. This will begin on Monday,” DeWine wrote in a statement. “We will continue to consult with educators on this. We have to take this action. We have to do everything we can to slow down the spread of this virus.”

DeWine also announced that all large public gatherings of more than 100 people are banned in the state, including auditoriums, large conference rooms, cafeterias, meeting halls, stadiums, arenas, and other venues. But it doesn’t include office buildings, stores, factories, schools, and restaurants, he said on Twitter.

“A mass gathering does NOT include normal operations at airports, bus and train stations, medical facilities, shopping malls, shopping centers or other spaces where 100 or more people may be in transit,” DeWine also wrote, adding that the “order does NOT apply to religious gatherings or gatherings for the purpose of exercising First Amendment protected speech.”

So far, officials have confirmed five COVID-19 patients in Ohio, while more than 50 are being monitored.