Suffolk County schools closed for two weeks starting Monday, March 16, in response to concerns regarding the coronavirus pandemic.
After recommendation of the Suffolk County Health Commissioner and consulting with the Suffolk County School Superintendents Association, County Executive Steve Bellone (D) March 15 issued a Local Emergency Order to close all schools in the Suffolk for two weeks.
In a statement, Bellone said discussions with state officials and the Superintendents Association included issues involving student meal programs and childcare.
“There is evidence that the virus is already present in many communities we serve, and our efforts now must be aimed at preventing its spread,” Bellone said in a statement. “As part of our larger social distancing efforts, we believe that closing schools is the right thing to do at this time.”
Bellone said the county asks parents to encourage children to practice social distancing and hand washing frequently to help to contain the coronavirus. The county also suggests that anyone who is symptomatic to stay home and quarantine themselves as a precautionary measure.
Administrators and teachers will have access to school buildings during the closures. This will enable them to conduct district planning, distance-based learning, set up temporary grab-and-go meals and address childcare issues.