Clarke County school bus (copy COVID)

On March 26, Gov. Brian Kemp extended the mandatory public school closures in Georgia until April 24 due to concerns about the global COVID-19 pandemic. (Photo/Reynolds Rogers)

Clarke County School District announced it will close next week, March 16-20, amid COVID-19 concerns.

The district, which is currently on spring break, will reevaluate on March 16 to determine if they will close for any longer, according to an email sent from interim Superintendent Xerona Thomas to the CCSD community on Thursday.

The announcement comes after Gov. Brian Kemp announced the first coronavirus death in Georgia and recommended schools should consider closing down for two weeks.

“We know that school closures have a major impact on our Georgia families,” Kemp said in a Thursday press conference. “Given the rise of the coronavirus cases along with the push of more school closures … If you feel it is prudent, you should consider closing day cares, schools or school districts as early as tomorrow through the next two weeks.”

The district will have a work day on Monday for Central Office staff, other school administrators and high school department chairs to prepare for the closure. Anyone who has traveled to a high-risk country should stay home, the press release said.

There will be no extracurricular activities, sports, school events or field trips during the time that the schools are closed.

“Especially in this uncertain time, we appreciate our community for their continued support,” said Thomas in the email. “Please take the necessary precautions to keep yourself, your families, and the broader community safe.”

Hours before the CCSD announcement, the University System of Georgia announced a two-week suspension of instruction at all of its institutions across the state and asked students to remain away from campus.

CCSD will clean and disinfect schools and buses using cleaners approved to combat COVID-19 while students are away, the press release said. The district also recommends students and parents wash backpacks, jackets and coats.

Teachers and principals will soon send out information about online teaching and school nutrition services, according to the press release.

Parents and students should see for updates and more information.

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