Schools closed for remainder of school year

Schools closed for remainder of school year

MADISON (WKOW) — As part of Gov. Evers extension of the Safer at Home order, he also has closed public and private K-12 schools for the remainder of the 2019-2020 school year.

The announcement came in a press release from the governor’s office Thursday after Evers indicated earlier in the week he would likely extend it for another month.

The executive order bans nonessential business and travel in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Evers originally set the order to expire April 24.

State health officials had voiced cautious optimism in recent days that social distancing measures like Safer at Home were beginning to curb the disease’s spread. However, the effect of the Spring General election, when tens of thousands of Wisconsinites headed to the polls, remains to be seen.

Symptoms may take between two and 14 days to develop, according to the Centers for Disease Control.

As of Wednesday, the Wisconsin Department of Health Services reported 3,721 confirmed infections in the state and 182 deaths.

(Our entire coronavirus coverage is available here.)

Evers announcement to extend the Safer at Home order comes after dozens of business leaders and some Republican lawmakers warned him an extension could have dire consequences for Wisconsin’s economy.

Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce (WMC) other businesses sent a letter to Evers asking the administration to start crafting a transition plan for businesses to reopen as the pandemic continues to weigh their industry.

“The last thing you want is a resurgence because you, quote-unquote, ‘re-opened too soon,'” Evers said told reporters days ahead of his announcement.

Evers and the DHS acting Secretary Andrea Palm defended their handling of the crisis, saying their decisions have been driven by science with a desire to slow the spread of the virus.

The new strain of the 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 similarly to a common cold or the flu.

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.

(A timeline of the virus’ spread in Wisconsin is available here.)

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