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Governor to school leaders: If you feel it is 'prudent', close schools for two weeks

He said that he was not going to mandate any closures - and would leave it up to local officials

ATLANTA — Georgia Governor Brian Kemp said Thursday that he is issuing a call to action for community leaders, educational leaders and childcare providers across our state amid coronavirus concerns.

"If you feel it is prudent, you should consider closing day cares, schools or school districts as early as tomorrow through the next two weeks," he said.

He said this is not a mandate and "at this point we believe that local decision-making is the right course of action, and you have the flexibility.”

Kemp said that the Georgia Department of Education, University System of Georgia, the Technical College System and local school leaders have been "invaluable partners" to determine the best measures protect students, teachers and administrators. 

LIST: Status on classes at Atlanta area colleges and universities amid coronavirus outbreak

"Regardless if you stay open or decide to close, we will support that decision," Kemp added.

Shortly after his announcement, multiple school districts announced two-week long closures for students and faculty. Here is a list of grade schools. Here is a list of universities and colleges.

Earlier this week, state schools superintendent Richard Woods said widespread closures are not recommended.

Woods said they are advising all Georgia school districts to continue following the guidance of the Georgia Department of Public Health and their local boards of health. 

"All school districts should continue to take preventative measures, including providing ample time for students and staff to wash their hands and developing plans to continue student learning should your school district need to close for several days," he said. 

In Georgia, the risk of contracting COVID-19 remains low, according to officials. At 11Alive, we’re focusing our news coverage on the facts and not the fear around the virus. To see our full coverage, visit our coronavirus section, here: www.11Alive.com/Coronavirus

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