RICHMOND, Va., – As a result of the growing concerns over the coronavirus, Gov. Ralph Northam ordered all K-12 schools in Virginia to close for at least two weeks.
The order begins on Monday, March 16 though Friday, March 27, at a minimum.
“We are taking this action to keep Virginians as safe and healthy as possible, and to minimize exposure to COVID-19,” said Northam. “I recognize this will pose a hardship on many families, but closing our schools for two weeks will not only give our staff time to clean and disinfect school facilities, it will help slow the spread of this virus. This is a fluid and fast-changing situation. We will do everything possible to ensure that students who rely on school nutrition programs continue to have access to meals, and that the disruption to academics is as minimal as possible.”
The Virginia Department of Education is working with school divisions and the Department of Social Services to help provide meals for students who need free or reduced lunches while in class. The Department Of Education will work with superintendents to provide specific information.
“We recognize this decision places burdens on many of our parents and families, especially for those who rely on school nutrition programs for access to healthy food for their children,” said Secretary of Education Atif Qarni. “However, we believe closing Virginia schools is in the Commonwealth’s best interest as we seek to stop the spread of COVID-19. Virginia will continue to explore and implement innovative approaches to provide meals to students who qualify for free and reduced lunch during this closure.”