UPDATED 5:30 p.m. | Gov. JB Pritzker announced Friday that all schools in Illinois will be closed from Tuesday, March 17, through Monday, March 30, due to the coronavirus.
Pritzker said keeping people at home — including school kids and their parents — is critical for stopping the spread of the coronavirus disease.
"So please, this weekend, if you can, stay home. ... This isn’t forever. This is a sacrifice in the short term to help our hospitals, our health care workers, our testing laboratories, and our elderly and vulnerable residents — we all have a duty to each of them," he said.
Unit 5 and District 87
Unit 5 schools previously announced students would be off Monday, March 16. There still will be no school for students that day.
All Unit 5 staff members will report to their schools at their normal work time March 16 to prepare for e-learning during the extended closure.
District 87 schools will be closed March 16-20. It will implement e-learning days from March 17-20. All District 87 employees will report to work March 16 at their regularly time.
District 87's spring break will continue as scheduled from March 23-27.
Day Cares and Food
While schools are closing, Pritzker said day care centers will stay open and follow strict health guidelines.
Students receiving free and reduce priced breakfasts and lunches will be able to receive grab-and-go meals each day, with some districts having the ability to deliver and others offering parent pickup.
“We have seen evidence from influenza outbreaks that community mitigation strategies, such a school closures, have an effect on decreasing the severity of the outbreak,” said IDPH Director Dr. Ngozi Ezike.