School districts throughout St. Louis will close on Wednesday in response to the coronavirus.
Twenty-six school districts in the St. Louis region, including Catholic and charter schools, will close on Wednesday until at least April 3.
In a joint news release, school leaders in the city and county said they're trying to blunt the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus, which has become a pandemic.
"The decision to close our school districts was extremely difficult, made in consultation with all area superintendents and out of an abundance of caution for our families," the statement says. "We know that closing our schools will have a significant impact on our families, but we also believe that strong, urgent action must be taken to prevent the spread of this disease and to protect lives."
The announcement came shortly after elected officials in five bi-state counties issued an order
banning gatherings of larger than 50 people and recommending that all schools close by mid-week.
Individual school districts will provide their students and families with more information about how the shutdowns will work.
The affected districts are as follows:
Affton School District, Archdiocese of St. Louis Schools, Bayless School District, Brentwood School District, School District of Clayton, Ferguson Florissant School District, Hancock Place School District, Hazelwood School District, Jennings School District, Kirkwood School District, Ladue School District, Lindbergh Schools, Maplewood-Richmond Heights School District, Mehlville School District, Normandy School District, Parkway School District, Pattonville School District, Ritenour School District, Riverview Gardens School District, Rockwood School District Special School District (SSD), St. Louis Public Schools (including charters), University City School District, Valley Park School District, Voluntary Interdistrict Choice Corporation and Webster Groves School District.
For more information on COVID-19, go to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's website
, and for more on the local response, go to websites for the city's health department
and St. Louis County's health department
Update: Francis Howell School District in St. Charles County is also cancelling classes until April 3.
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