The closure will apply to students in pre-kindergarten through 12th grade, Superintendent Vincent Matthews said.
All school activities, child care, health services and enrichment programs are cancelled during the three week period, he said.
“We’re exploring with our city partners what we can do to support our students and families while schools are closed for three weeks,” Matthews said. “The San Francisco Unified School District is taking the time to prepare school communities for the likelihood of a prolonged COVID-19 epidemic. This is not business as usual.”
Matthews went on to say it’s likely San Francisco will see more cases of coronavirus in the coming weeks and months.
“This will require a measured, sustained response,” he said.
The superintendent said the school community needs time to plan and prepare for how to operate schools during the COVID-19 epidemic — which would include social isolation tactics and universal health precautions.
SFUSD Superintendent says there isn’t a clear cut answer on what will factor into the decision to either keep schools closed or reopen them in San Francisco after the 3 week closure. @abc7newsbayarea
— J.R. Stone (@jrstonelive) March 12, 2020
The announcement comes after city and district officials said Wednesday that schools would remain open because schools were considered an “essential service.”
The virus has been very mild in children so far, city officials said Wednesday — and it was a recommendation from the health department that guided the San Francisco’s earlier decision not to close schools.
RELATED: Coronavirus Impact: School, university closures related to COVID-19 in San Francisco Bay Area
The closures will take effect Monday and will overlap with a week-long spring break.
SFUSD is closing schools to students for 3 weeks beginning Monday, March 16 through the end of regularly scheduled spring break (ends Fri. 4/3). Staff will be working part of this time to prepare and train on how to educate and support community health – https://t.co/TyJcRPIvLM
— SF public schools (@SFUnified) March 12, 2020
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