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DeWine: Schools could remain closed through end of academic year

Governor says closure of daycares is also likely

COLUMBUS — Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine said on Sunday that, while the state’s K-12 schools have been ordered closed for three weeks, this could be extended as far as the end of the academic year.

Last week, the governor ordered the schools to take a lengthened spring break out of concerns regarding the coronavirus.

Appearing on CNN Sunday morning, the governor said the closure will likely be extended and could run through the rest of the school year.

“Look, the projections — and again, this is all projections, I’m just going by what medical experts are telling us,” DeWine said. “You know, this may not peak until the latter part of April or May. So we’ve informed the superintendents, while we’ve closed schools for three weeks, that the odds are this is going to go on a lot longer and it would not surprise me at all if schools did not open again this year.”

DeWine also said closure of daycare centers is coming.

“I’m pleading with parents: If you have children in daycare and can keep them home, please do it,” the governor posted on his Twitter account Sunday evening. “To close daycares overnight won’t work, but it’s coming. I’ve tried to signal that daycares will eventually be closed. But, our healthcare systems need to be staffed. You’ll start to see healthcare facilities creating their own daycares.

DeWine said the moves were to prevent the disease’s spread and to minimize lives lost.

“What we’ve done this week is drastic action, but we’re taking these steps to save lives,” DeWine posted. “W/ no intervention we could expect 40%-70% of our population would contract this virus. We’ve made dramatic interventions to make a difference & stop our healthcare system from imploding.”