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Gov. Pritzker to close all Illinois schools for remainder of academic year, reports say

Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker and state officials speak at a press conference on March 28, 2020 | Photo: Illinois Information Service.

Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker is expected to announce that he is closing all schools in the state for the remainder of the academic year due to coronavirus, reports say.

The Chicago Sun-Times, citing sources, said that the governor and his team worked through the details of the extended closures this week.

The official announcement is expected to come during Pritzker’s Friday press conference, the Sun-Times reported Friday morning.

Illinois will join 27 other states that have ordered or recommended school building closures for the rest of the academic year, impacting more than 25 million students, according to Education Week.

On Thursday, Pritzker announced that Illinois had 125 people die in the past day, which is the largest amount of COVID-19 deaths in a 24-hour span.

The Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) said the state’s COVID-19 total has reached 25,733 cases and 1,072 deaths as of Thursday. The number of people tested so far is at 122,589, data shows.

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Previously, state officials encouraged those with mild symptoms to stay at home and isolate due to lack of testing. Pritzker said the state has increased testing capabilities and now anyone with symptoms can be tested without a doctor’s order.

Pritzker announced early Thursday afternoon that he and six other governors are working together to figure out when to reopen the Midwest economy.

He will work with Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine, Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers, Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz, Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb and Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear.


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