(WTAJ) — Governor Tom Wolf has ordered all schools, K-12, to be closed for two weeks starting March 16, 2020.
The announcement comes shortly after having Philadelphia close all their schools amid the Coronavirus outbreak.
Currently, there are 27 presumptive cases and 6 confirmed in the state of Pennsylvania.
As of right now, there are no reported cases in our 10-county viewing area in Central PA.
Wolf says that schools will not need to worry about having their mandated 180-day school year
You can read Gov. Wolf’s full statement below:
We understand that these are trying times and recognize the impact of the coronavirus on our students and communities.
First and foremost, my top priority as governor – and that of our education leaders – must be to ensure the health and safety of our students and school communities.
As such, I am ordering that all schools in the commonwealth close for the next two weeks.
Be aware that no school district will be penalized if it fails to meet the 180 day or school hours requirements.
The Department of Education will work with intermediate units and other stakeholders to support school districts with any continuity of learning plans they may be pursuing.
Also, the Pennsylvania Department of Education announced today that it received a waiver from the U.S. Department of Agriculture to allow eligible schools to serve meals to low income students in a non-congregate setting, such as a drive-through or grab and go, during this closure. We will also work with schools to assist them with those plans.
We appreciate your collaboration as we work together to deal with this difficult issue.
When Kelsye Stott, from Tyrone, first heard Governor Wolf’s announcement she didn’t know who would watch her eight year-old son.
“Honestly, my immediate thought was, “What am I going to do for daycare?” Stott, said. “Pearce is 8. He can’t go to a conventional daycare like she can.”
She says her husband is trying to work from home, so their son will have a babysitter.
Stott does think it’s good her son won’t be around others on a daily basis now who could give him the virus.
“Even if he doesn’t have symptoms of it, he could give it to myself or my parents or other people in the community are immunodeficient,” Stott, said.
Governor Wolf says he had no other choice, but to close schools.
“I know that some of you are worried, but we believe that by asking everyone to cooperate and spend a few days limiting their interactions with other people, we can help control the spread of this virus in Pennsylvania, and that ultimately is going to save lives and that is what this is about,” Governor Wolf, said.
The Governor says no school district will be penalized if it fails to meet the 180 day or school hours requirements.
He’s also obtained a federal waiver that will allow schools to feed low-income children.