San Francisco public schools to close for 3 weeks amid COVID-19 outbreak, district officials say

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SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) — Public schools in San Francisco will be closed for three weeks starting Monday due to the coronavirus outbreak, the superintendent of the San Francisco Unified School District announced Thursday.

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.

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.

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The closures will take effect Monday and will overlap with a week-long spring break.

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