Gov. Kemp closes K-12 public schools through April 24

Public schools in Georgia will remain closed through April 24 due to the coronavirus pandemic

Georgia Governor Brian Kemp issued an executive order Thursday to extend closures of all public elementary and secondary schools for in-person instruction for the next month. Students will be allowed to return to school on Monday, April 27. 

"I am deeply grateful to State School Superintendent Richard Woods, the Georgia Department of Education, superintendents, and parents for keeping us informed and helping us make the right decision for our students," said Governor Kemp. "Throughout this process, we will continue to seek the advice of public health officials, school leaders, and families to ensure the health and safety of the educational community. As we approach April 24, 2020, we ask for continued patience and flexibility since circumstances may change, but we encourage families to stay strong and follow the guidance of federal, state, and local leaders in the weeks ahead."

MORE: Symptoms, testing and how to prepare amid growing COVID-19 outbreak

The University System of Georgia and Techincal College System of Georgia will remain closed for in-person instruction through the rest of the semester. 

MORE: Learn more about the coronavirus outbreak in Georgia

Since the first cases of COVID-19 were confirmed in Georgia, Gov. Brian Kemp has declared a public health state of emergency, allowing resources to be marshaled for the treatment and mitigation of the virus. Public gatherings have also been limited to no more than 10 people in order to prevent the spread of the virus.

There are more than 1,500 confirmed cases of coronavirus in Georgia and state officials expect to see more as testing continues and virus spread within local communities. 

Georgia has opened at least 13 drive-thru locations for virus testing and plans more. Kemp says the priority for tests is being given to those at highest risk — the elderly, people who already have chronic illnesses, those in nursing homes or other long-term care facilities and first responders such as paramedics.

Best prevention measures:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and warm water for at least twenty seconds.
  • If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces

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