The Slatest

Ohio Governor Says Possible Schools Will Remain Closed for Rest of Academic Year

A student leaves the Thurgood Marshal Elementary school after the Seattle Public School system was abruptly closed due to coronavirus fears on March 11, 2020 in Seattle, Washington.
A student leaves the Thurgood Marshal Elementary school after the Seattle Public School system was abruptly closed due to coronavirus fears on March 11, 2020 in Seattle, Washington.
John Moore/Getty Images

It’s possible that students in Ohio will not be returning to school for the rest of the school year. Ohio is one of several states that has announced schools will be closed for the next three weeks. And during an interview with CNN on Sunday, Gov. Mike DeWine made clear that could easily extend through the summer.

“Absolutely,” DeWine said when CNN’s Brianna Keilar asked him if the state could close schools for the rest of the year. The key is what medical experts are saying that the covid-19 outbreak may not peak until the end of April or May. “We’ve informed superintendents while we’ve closed schools for three weeks, odds are we will go on a lot longer,” he said. “It would not surprise me at all if schools did not open again this year.”

More than 20 states and several large urban school districts, including Los Angeles, have announced that all K-12 schools are shutting down in an effort to stop the spread of the new coronavirus. Even though most districts are announcing closures of between two-to-four weeks, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said closing schools for eight weeks or longer would be far more effective to stop the spread of covid-19.

DeWine also said the state health director will be ordering all bars and restaurants to close to the public at 9 p.m. Sunday night in Ohio. The governor said his administration decided to take action amid concern from people who were worried about crowded bars on Saturday night and increasing concern about St. Patrick’s Day celebrations this coming week. Restaurants and bars will still be able to offer carryout and delivery services. “I can’t tell you how sorry I am. Our goal is for everyone to get through this. What we wish is that next St. Patrick’s Day everyone will be there and they’ll have an opportunity to celebrate,” DeWine said.