CHICAGO (AP) – Gov. J.B. Pritzker Friday ordered schools throughout the state closed for the rest of the semester due to the lingering threat of the coronavirus.
Pritzker announced the move during his daily briefing in Chicago, extending school closures past the April 30 date he set previously. As of Friday, Illinois had recorded 27,575 confirmed cases of COVID-19, including 1,134 deaths.
Pritzker acknowledged the disruption it would cause to students and their families.
“But my priority remains unchanged. How do we save the most lives during this very difficult time?” Pritzker said. “The answer to that question leaves us with only one path forward.”
The governor closed schools March 17 amid growing concern over the virus, idling more than 2 million children midway through the spring semester, including 355,000 in Chicago’s public school district, the third largest in the nation. A week later, he issued a statewide stay-at-home order, restricting people from going out except for necessities such as groceries and medicine.