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Oregon schools to remain closed through April 28

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Philomath School District Office artwork

Philomath students from kindergarten through 3rd grade will be back in the building early next month.

Schools throughout the state will remain closed until April 28, Gov. Kate Brown announced Tuesday.

Citing the need to prevent a spike in cases of COVID-19 that could overwhelm the state's medical facilities, Brown said she did not take the decision lightly.

"This will have real impacts on Oregon's students, parents and educators," Brown said in a statement.

Schools had previously been closed until April 1.

On Tuesday, the state announced 18 new cases of the virus that mimics flu symptoms and has killed 100 people in the United States. Those with underlying health conditions and the elderly are at a higher risk of developing serious cases of coronavirus.

As of Tuesday evening, there were 66 cases in Oregon with more than half a dozen originating from the Edward C. Allworth Veterans Home in Lebanon.

Local districts will have to develop plans to remain closed through April 28.

Brown's announcement on Tuesday required all "regular employees" to be paid, meals to be provided and noted that teachers may be called on to provide limited learning and support services.

Given the new extension, Oregon schools will be closed for just over six weeks.

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