(The Center Square) – Nevada Gov. Steve Sisolak has ordered all Nevada schools to temporarily close through Apr. 6 in response to the novel coronavirus outbreak across the United States.
“Today, in coordination with the Nevada Department of Education and district superintendents around Nevada, I have ordered all of the state’s K-12 schools to close for students starting tomorrow and will remain closed, at a minimum, until April 6, 2020,” Sisolak said in a statement Sunday.
“I realize that this will cause hardships and complications for our families, our students, and our school staffs,” Sisolak added. “I assure you, we have not reached this decision lightly.”
The Clark County School District experienced complaints from parents and educators for not closing schools sooner. The Clark County Education Association and the National Education Association of Southern Nevada both pressed Superintendent Jesus Jara to cancel school to reduce the potential number of cases that could come from potential spreading among students, the Las Vegas Review-Journal reported.
“Besides the potential spread among otherwise healthy individuals of COVID-19,” read a letter sent to Jara by the National Education Association of Southern Nevada earlier in the week, according to the Review-Journal. “You have hundreds (or possibly thousands) of immune comprised students and educators who will be even higher risk by schools remaining open.”
Jara, in response to the union's letter, wrote in an email that schools are scheduled to resume as normal on Monday, Mar. 16. However, that changed Sunday in light of the spread of cases in Las Vegas and other large communities.
Recent outbreak data from the Southern Nevada Health District reports 16 cases in Clark County with more to come. Other school districts in the state are required to follow similar policies because of the outbreak.
Jara officially announced that the district will halt classes in a note Sunday following the governor's order.
“Governor Steve Sisolak announced the difficult decision to close all schools in our state, including Clark County School District schools, effective tomorrow Monday, March 16, 2020,” Jara said. “This closure will continue through Monday, April 13, which includes the already scheduled Spring Break. State health officials will determine if schools are to reopen after April 13.”