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Governor orders all Wisconsin schools closed beginning Wednesday

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MADISON (WKOW) -- Gov. Tony Evers today announced a mandated statewide closure of all K-12 schools in the State of Wisconsin.

The closure begins Wednesday, March 18, at 5 p.m. according to a press release from the Department of Health Services sent Friday afternoon. The date was chosen to give school districts to make plans for kids, families, educators and staff.

“Closing our schools is not a decision I made lightly, but keeping our kids, our educators, our families, and our communities safe is a top priority as we continue our work to respond to and prevent further spread of COVID-19 in Wisconsin,” said Evers.

The anticipated reopening date is April 6. The governor's office said that day could change depending on further developments.

“Closing our schools is not a decision I made lightly, but keeping our kids, our educators, our families, and our communities safe is a top priority as we continue our work to respond to and prevent further spread of COVID-19 in Wisconsin,” said Evers.

(Our entire coronavirus coverage is available here.)

The new strain of coronavirus causes the disease COVID-19. Symptoms include cough, fever and shortness of breath.

In severe cases, pneumonia can develop. Those most at risk include the elderly, people with heart or lung disease as well as anyone at greater risk of infection.

For most, the virus is mild, presenting as a common cold.

Anyone who thinks they may have the disease should call ahead to a hospital or clinic before going in for a diagnosis. Doing so gives the staff time to take the proper precautions so the virus does not spread.

Those needing emergency medical services should continue to use 911.

"We are using every tool that we have to protect our community," the Department of Health Services said in a press release. "We did not make this decision lightly."

JT Cestkowski

Social Media Content Producer/Desk Editor

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